Getting injured at work can be a stressful and potentially costly experience.
For more serious injuries, victims may be left to pay expensive medical bills and miss out on paychecks during recovery.
Experiencing a work-related injury can be financially devastating, so it’s crucial to take the right steps after your injury to obtain adequate compensation. With that in mind, here’s what to do to ensure that you get paid after an injury at work.
Seek medical treatment
If you’re injured on the job, the first step you should take is obtaining first aid or seeking medical treatment. If your employer participates in a Preferred Provider Organization or Alternate Dispute Resolution program, keep in mind that you may be required to obtain treatment from a chosen health care provider.
In addition, any required diagnostic tests or prescription medications may be covered by a diagnostic network or designated pharmacies. If you are required to seek out care from a preferred health care provider, your employer must provide you with written notice.
Unless the case is disputed, the cost of necessary medical treatment is paid by your employer or your employer’s insurance. Health care providers may ask you to sign a form that provides notice to injured employees that they may be responsible for paying their medical bills if they do not pursue a claim against the employer.
Notify your employer
After receiving medical treatment, notify your employer about the injury and the events leading up to the injury as soon as possible. Make sure to inform your supervisor of the injury in writing and to keep a copy for yourself.
Because some states have shorter filing deadlines for notice of injury, inform your employer immediately so you don’t lose legal rights to workers’ compensation. In most states, injured workers who fail to inform a supervisor in writing of their injury within 30 days may be unable to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’ve contracted an occupational disease, written notice should be given two years after disablement or within two years of finding out the disease was related to work.
Complete a claim form
Next, complete a claim for workers’ compensation to ensure that you receive benefits. Regardless of how employers learn of your injury, they are required to offer you an injury at work claim form immediately. Most states require employers, doctors’ offices, and hospital emergency rooms to offer forms that can start the claim process. If you are not offered a form, contact your closest Workers’ Compensation Office.
Until the form is completed, the employer is not obligated to provide workers’ compensation benefits. When completing the form, fill out only the “employee” section, and make sure to both sign and date the form. Also, make a copy of the form for your own records before returning it to your employer. Ultimately, it’s crucial to file your claim form quickly to avoid delays in receiving benefits.
Talk to a lawyer
Depending on the circumstances of your case, it might be necessary to hire a lawyer. If you do not understand any part of the claim process, contact a local workers’ compensation lawyer or a personal injury lawyer. If you are required to stand before a court judge, hiring a lawyer can help you obtain the best outcome for your case.
An experienced plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer can help you understand the process and the best ways to move forward, as well as what kind of compensation is typically received under your circumstances.
Although experiencing an injury at work can be traumatic, it’s important to follow the right steps to obtain financial compensation for your injury.