If you find yourself injured on the job and aren’t sure if you should report the incident, you might want to refer to these guidelines on what to do after a work related injury – especially if you want to protect your legal rights. Keep in mind that most employers are required by law to provide workers compensation insurance coverage to their employees. You are entitled to those benefits if you suffer an injury while on the job.
File An Accident Report
Even if you do not know the extent of your injuries at the time, it is best to report the incident immediately and make an accident report. Failure to do so may affect your ability to file a compensation claim (as many states have a specific time frame to report any work related injury.) Once you have made the report, your employer should ensure that you receive proper medical attention.
Remember, there is no harm in filing a report. Even if your injury is not severe, your report may help prevent another work related incident and/or alert your employer of the need to implement some new safety measures.
Know Your Compensation Rights
Once you have made an accident report, your employer should notify their insurance carrier. It is your employer’s responsibility to file a claim with their insurance company on your behalf. As an employee, it is always best practice to follow up to ensure that the claim was filed and to obtain a copy of the claim for your records.
Also, as an employee, you do not need to prove any negligence on your employer’s part. However, be aware that some exigent circumstances may affect your ability to be covered – i.e. if you are intoxicated and/or using illicit drugs at the time of the incident.
See A Doctor
As mentioned earlier, your employer should ensure that you receive proper medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary. If the injury is less serious, you should consult with your employer to see if they require that you visit a specific a doctor or if you can choose your own. If you are required to visit a doctor of your employer’s choosing but are not satisfied with the diagnosis, you may want to follow up with another physician. Workers’ compensation laws may allow for a second opinion.
In the event that you are not covered for a follow up visit but are unhappy with the doctor/diagnosis provided, you may want to consider paying out of pocket. Depending on the extent of your injury, the cost of the additional visit may be minimal in relation to the alternative – loss of benefits from a misdiagnosis.
Still Have Questions About What to do after a Work Related Injury? Consult an Attorney
If you have followed all of the necessary steps but are still feeling like something is amiss, it is best to seek representation from an attorney who has experience handling workers’ compensation claims. You want to make sure that your rights are protected and that you are receiving the proper compensation for your injuries.
Hopefully you will never need to address any of these issues! But in the event that you find yourself injured on the job, these are just a few helpful tips on what to do after a work related injury.