Work injuries are physical or mental injuries to an individual at work involving how the work was carried out, machinery or equipment used for the job, and the conditions and premises of work. Work-related injuries are increasingly representing a significant percentage of emergencies. In most cases, irresponsible companies and careless co-workers lead to accidents and injuries at workplaces. It is an unfortunate event for one to have an accident in the course of performing their duties. The situation is further worsened when the employer is at fault or the insurance provider is not cooperative when it comes to compensation matters.
You can use several methods to seek compensation, including but not limited to seeking workers’ compensation benefits and filing a personal injury lawsuit. Payment can offer you the crucial financial relief you need, especially if you cannot work because of your injuries. The following steps will guide you on how you can deal with work-related injuries to ensure you are adequately compensated.
Per your organization’s policies and procedures, you should report the incident to the company’s representative. The representative is usually someone in human resources, a health and safety committee member, or a manager. They should determine whether you need first aid and can perform it on the scene. Or, they will determine you require additional emergency care at a health facility. They may also need to notify your emergency contact depending on the severity of your injuries. To ensure that the accident site is safe and secure, the employer should take immediate action to prevent additional accidents.
In most instances, the need to engage the services of a lawyer is unnecessary. Especially since the claims are often straightforward or the insurance company willingly clears the claim. However, in some cases, the insurer might deny you your benefits or ignore your claim altogether. Navigating the murky waters of workers’ compensation might prove hard for you. The services of Workers Compensation Lawyers might prove valuable in your quest for compensation and during the negotiations with the insurance company afterward. Never use a solicitor the insurance company selects for you. Take charge of your claim and read around the subject. It is advisable to switch lawyers if you are not getting the services that you deserve.
Some employers create their injury reports, while others use workers’ compensation claim forms their workplace provides. Usually, the report has information such as the date of injury, description of the damage, where it occurred, and the date on which the employer became aware of the injury. If your employer reports you to complete it, you should be made aware of the deadline to complete it. Typically, injury reports should be made no later than 48 hours after the accident to allow for investigations and preventive measures. However, time frames for reporting work-related injuries vary by state law. If you do not file a report within the state’s time frame, you may lose the right to receive compensation benefits.
During the meeting, your employer should outline the claims procedure, available benefits, and whom to contact if you have any concerns. Some of the most frequent items you'll discuss include the following.
Under some state laws, your employer may initially choose the doctor designated for taking care of employees with work injuries. Your employer should inform you about the available options for seeking medical attention.
In most health care facilities, you will be asked whether your injuries are work-related. To ensure that medical bills are sent to the right place for settlement, you need to have your employer’s contact information before any medical visit. Although health facilities usually provide medical documentation directly to the workers’ compensation carrier, it is advisable to retain any documentation from the medical visits.
Traveling to and from medical treatment may be reimbursed according to company policy. Or, with the state’s specific workers’ compensation regulations.
Filing a compensation claim is similar to filing any other insurance claim. It is best if you understand that it is not a lawsuit against your employer but rather a request for benefits. The first step when filing a claim is to notify your employer as soon as possible. It does not matter how the employer learns of the accident, and they have to offer you a claim form immediately. The employer has no obligation to provide benefits until you complete the claim form. In most states, it is a requirement that employers and hospital emergency rooms have the documents to start the process. Complete the “Employee” section and be sure to sign and date the claim form. You must maintain a copy of the claim form in your records. Return the claim form to your employer.
Returning you to work should be one of the main objectives of your employer. The company’s policy should be a thoughtful, well-written document that can be executed with caretaking your needs into consideration. Most workers’ compensation carriers have set aside resources to help employers with their return to work programs. Your return to work may have doctor-directed regulations that may allow you to return on restricted duty. Restricted or light tasks usually are less mentally and physically demanding than your employer’s typical jobs. If you are eligible for FMLA to leave, you can accept the light-duty assignment, which will not count towards FMLA leave since you have returned to work and no longer take leave. Alternatively, you can continue to be out on the available FMLA leave.
Work accidents are always an unfortunate occurrence in an individual’s career. Handling compensation claims efficiently can ensure adequate compensation. It also alleviates the heavy financial burden on the victim. Make sure that you are knowledgeable on how to handle work injuries appropriately. Carry out extensive research when choosing a lawyer to represent you if the claim goes to trial.