In the year 2013 917,100 occupational injuries and illnesses occurred that resulted in employees missing days of work. No one likes to think about getting seriously injured, but if it happens to you, it’s important to know the steps to take to secure your income. Injuries while at work are not limited to hard labor professions such as construction workers. In fact, work-related musculoskeletal injuries such as back problems are three times more likely in nursing assistants and orderlies than construction laborers. Here are some tips for what to do if you get hurt at work.
#1. Notify Your Supervisor As Soon As Possible
As soon as you are injured at work, even if it seems like something minor, the first important step is to notify your supervisor about the injury as soon as possible. Ensure that your supervisor fills out an accident report. Even if you think you will still be able to work, err on the side of caution because if the problem develops into a more serious concern, you may not be able to file a workers compensation claim unless the initial accident report was filed within a certain period of time following the incident.
#2. Keep Meticulous Records and Documentation
Make sure to ask for copies of any documents your company completes regarding your injury or illness and keep them in a safe location. This includes a copy of the accident report that your supervisor filed. Additionally, keep copies of any medical bills, information from doctors or information from insurance companies. If you were forced to independently pay for any emergency medical expenses immediately following the incident, also keep copies of any documentation from that time as you will be able to be reimbursed by your company pending a workers compensation claim.
#3. Consult With A Workers Compensation Attorney
If your employer is cooperative, it is not necessary to hire a workers compensation lawyer in order to receive workers compensation. However, there are many circumstances in which it would be a good idea to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side. If a decision has been made about your workers compensation claim by your employer, your employer’s insurance company or your state’s workers compensation division that you do not agree with an attorney will advocate for you. Additionally, if your injuries are severe or moderate and your doctor indicates that your health will not recover to its previous condition, a lawyer can help you apply for permanent disability.
#4. Visit The Doctor At Regular Intervals
States have set time frames in which you need to visit the doctor to receive documentation about the condition of your illness or injury to continue being eligible for workers compensation to receive 100% of medical expenses paid and payments for lost income due to inability to work. You may be required to have a medical examination conducted by an independent party instead of your doctor. It is important to follow all protocol such as attending any hearings and following doctors orders. If your doctor deems that you are able to return to work, it is important to return to work as soon as possible.