Injury Compensation From Work: What to Do When Injured on the Job
If you have been injured on the job, you are not alone. It’s estimated that every seven seconds someone is injured in a workplace accident and will need to file a claim for injury compensation.
Workman’s compensation is not on the worker’s side. Like any insurance company, worker’s comp will try to deny payment of claims. Your best bet will be to hire an attorney that specializes in fighting for your rights after a workplace injury.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your rights are not violated following a workplace injury.
Report Your Injury Right Away
Many times, pain from an injury is delayed for hours or even days after the incident that caused it. Back and neck injuries may not be apparent until some time after the accident that caused them.
Even if you do not think you were hurt, you need to report the incident immediately. If you leave work and try to report the injury later, you may lose all rights to file a workman’s compensation claim for it. You must promptly notify your supervisor when you have a workplace accident or injury.
It is helpful if you can find a witness. At the very least, make sure that you take photos or videos of the injury site and tell your coworkers about the incident. This helps you to support your account of the injury if your employer tries to deny your workman’s compensation claim.
Your employer is required to fill out forms about the incident as soon as you report it. Keep records of your communication with your supervisor regarding the date and time you first reported the accident. By law, our employer cannot punish you or hold your injury compensation claim against you in any way.
Ask for an examination by a doctor as soon as possible. If you don’t seek medical care immediately after the injury, your claim will be delayed or denied completely.
Your Workman’s Compensation Representative
It’s very useful to keep the name and number of your workman’s compensation representative. This is a way to make sure they have all of the information required to process your workers comp claim.
Remember that no matter how friendly the representative is, he or she is not on your side. Be careful not to volunteer information that may hurt your claim.
Collect Your Bills
Make copies of all your medical bills relating to the injury. These bills can include emergency room visits, follow up doctor appointments, and the cost of rehabilitation or physical therapy services. Make sure to keep track of the costs of any prescriptions you were given.
Don’t forget to keep a record of any medical supplies, such as crutches or special casts, that you were prescribed as you recover. Your medical insurance will not cover anything relating to a workplace injury, so you need to file these costs on your workman’s compensation claim.
Your injury may cost you money in lost wages from another job. Make sure to document this as well as any other hardships, like losing money on travel plans.
Hire an Attorney Specializing in Workplace Injury Compensation
To make sure your worker’s comp claim covers all your expenses, it is best to hire an attorney who specializes in injury compensation cases. Many times, these lawyers will offer a free consultation to help you understand the benefits you are entitled to.
The attorney will not sue the employer unless the employer was directly responsible for your injuries through negligence. Your employer will be held financially accountable if your injuries surpass the amount of worker’s comp insurance the company has.
The attorney will be in contact with your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance agency to make sure you get all three of these benefits:
You are entitled to be paid for the time you are absent from work due to a workplace injury. This benefit is called temporary disability.
Temporary disability also protects your job position while you recover from your workplace injury. Your employer cannot permanently replace you or fire you because of your injury.
Any medical bills from your injury compensation claim must be paid. All doctor’s visits, physical or rehabilitation therapy, equipment, and prescriptions are covered by workman’s comp.
“Pain and Suffering”
After a workplace accident, you may be qualified to receive additional payment for your injury. This is called the disability award.
Your injury compensation attorney will explain how much money is considered the standard for your injury. The amount you will receive will depend on the severity of the injury, what body part is affected, and how much the injury will continue to affect your life after your initial treatments are completed.
Other Workman’s Compensation Claims
A workplace injury isn’t always because of a typical “slip, trip, and fall” accident. Sometimes, the injury can be caused by other factors.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Some injuries are the culmination of many years of repetitive work. These injuries can include loss of hearing, back injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you feel you have a repetitive stress injury, report it to your supervisor and seek medical treatment. Since these claims can be harder to prove, it’s helpful to hire a personal injury compensation attorney.
Negligent Security Claims
Negligent security claims are incidents caused in some way by your employer’s lack of preparedness. Some examples of negligent security claims can include:
- A fall due to improper lighting
- An injury caused by a coworker who wasn’t trained or vetted properly
- An injury caused by carelessness or negligence of the employer
- Improper security measures that resulted in criminal activity against you such as being assaulted or robbed on the premises
Your employer’s first duty is to keep workers safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) clearly outlines federally mandated safety stfandard guidelines. Employers are required to follow these safety standards to protect workers.
Some states are permitted to make their own OSHA guidelines, but they must be as thorough as those provided by the government.
OSHA regulations govern everything from workplace conditions to inspections. If your injury was due to an OSHA violation, notify your attorney immediately.
Most attorneys offer a free consultation to those seeking to file a workplace injury compensation claim, it’s always helpful to give them a call. Professionals can tell you how they will help you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
Check out our blogs for more helpful information on personal injury and workman’s comp claims.