November 17, 2019

Taking action: What to do after being hurt on the job

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You’re going through what was supposed to be a normal day of work when you find yourself falling on a concrete floor. You’re able to walk it off and finish the rest of your day but about a week later, you start to get this pain in your back that won’t go away.

That fall did more to your body than you thought it did. You should have reported your fall right away but you didn’t see the point at the time. Now you’ve missed the window of opportunity for worker’s comp so you’ll be paying for that trip to the chiropractor out of your own pocket.

There is a certain process that you have to go through to get compensation when you’re hurt on the job. To help you navigate through this complicated world the next time you’re injured, here is a complete guide.

1. File the Accident Report

As stated above most states have a small time frame in which you can file an accident report and still get workers comp for it. Even if you get hurt and seem fine, you still want to report it.

This will cover you if you don’t start showing signs of injury for a few weeks after the incident. Also, reporting to your supervisor allows them to fix whatever injured you so nobody else gets hurt.

2. Find Out if Your Employer has Worker’s Compensation Insurance

In about every state but Texas, your employer is required to have some sort of worker’s compensation insurance. This stops you from suing your employer over injuries except in cases of asbestos exposure.

This may sound bad at first glance but it cuts out the middle man. You won’t have to prove that your injury was the result of workplace negligence. Which means you can skip straight to the part where you get compensation.

What if They Don’t Have it?

With the exception of Texas and some agricultural jobs, your employer is expected to have insurance. If they don’t, make sure you avoid taking any compensation and contact your lawyer ASAP! They can help you sue your employer and get the compensation that you deserve.

3. Consult a Doctor or Two

Once you put in your report, you will need to see a doctor. Make sure that you ask your employer if there is a certain doctor that they will need to see to get the visit covered. Once you get that information, make an appointment.

The doctor will be able to look at your injuries and compare to find out if your injuries are catastrophic or non-catastrophic to give you a better idea of the compensation that you’re entitled to. If you’re unhappy with the results of your visit then you can go see your family doctor. Note that this may not be covered by your employer.

4. Write a Letter to Your Supervisor

It’s up to your supervisor to file a worker’s compensation claim for you. They can’t do that until you give them details about what your injuries are. Write a quick letter and turn it into them as soon as possible.

Make sure that you keep a copy of this letter and a copy of the claim they put in for your own records.

5. Keep a Record of All the Days You’ve Missed

There are some states that allow you to start getting a weekly wage once you’ve been out of work for 7 days due to injury. On top of getting compensation for missed wages, you could also get reimbursement for all money spent going to doctors visits including the gas you go through to get to the appointments.

It’s important that you keep records of all of this including written diaries and receipts from the doctor appointments.

6. Get a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

As you can imagine, worker’s compensation is a complicated process. It would be wise to hire a lawyer to walk through the entire thing with you. They can help you fill out all the proper forms.

They can also look at all of the paperwork over your shoulder and walk you through what you’re entitled to. Again you’ll also need them there for instances such as your company not having worker’s compensation insurance. If your claim is denied they can help you with disputing it as well.

7. What if Your Claim is Denied?

Speaking of a denied claim, there are a few ways you can dispute it. You can reach out to the Branch of Hearings and Review to get a second review of your claim. If you go this route you can then provide new evidence to back up your claim if you have it.

You could also request a review from the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board. You can’t present any more evidence and once they reach a decision then that’s it. It cannot be overturned.

If your company decides to dispute your claim then you can get a hearing in front of the Worker’s Compensation Board.

Everything You Should do if You’re Hurt on the Job

When you’re hurt on the job it’s important that you start the process of getting Worker’s Comp straight away. If you wait then you may miss the window of opportunity and have to pay for your treatment out of pocket. Use the steps that we’ve talked about here to get compensation for your pain and suffering.

Did this article help you win your worker’s comp claim? Visit the business section of our blog for more helpful tips for workers.

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