In 2018, the BLS reported that workplace fatalities were up 2% from 2017. Clearly, getting injured at work is increasingly common these days. What can you do if it happens to you? To know what you’re up against if you’re hurt on the job, check out this guide to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
1. Tell Your Supervisor You Were Injured at Work Immediately
When you’re injured on the job, you need to report to your supervisor immediately. Some states limit the time in which you must report your injury or forego claims to workers’ compensation.
Present your work injury complaint in writing. Some states only require you to report your injury verbally. Still, making the report in writing and requesting your supervisor’s signature proving he or she received the report will protect you better than a verbal report.
2. Seek Medical Care ASAP
If your injury is severe enough to warrant medical attention, seek care from an ER doctor or family physician. This physician will be your primary workers’ compensation doctor.
3. Receive Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Sheet
As soon as you report your injury to your supervisor, he or she should give you a workers’ comp claim form immediately.
If your employer or the emergency room treating you can’t (or won’t) supply a claim sheet, contact your local workers’ compensation office ASAP.
4. Your Employer Denies Having Workers’ Comp Insurance? Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The only industries that can legally go without workers’ compensation insurance are:
- Independent contractors
If you work for the government or any industry beyond these three, your employer must offer workers’ compensation by law. Call a workers’ comp attorney if you think your employer is denying your right to compensation after being injured at work.
5. Complete Your Workers’ Compensation Form
As soon as possible, fill out the “employee” section on the workers’ comp form. Make sure to sign and date the form plus make a copy for yourself before sending the document to your employer.
Your employer should complete the “employer” section before sending the form to his insurance company. You should receive a copy for your records of the completed form. If you don’t, request one from your employer or the insurance company, who must send a copy within 14 days.
6. Seek a Second Opinion
Some employers will require you to seek a second opinion about your injury.
However, keep in mind that a second opinion is only required if your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan mandates it.
7. Your Claim Was Denied? Make an Appeal
If you’re denied your rights to workers’ compensation unfairly, you have the right to request a reconsideration or an appeal.
This applies to both federal and non-federal employees.
The Bottom Line on What to Do When You’re Injured at Work
The workers’ comp claim process can be scary if you’re injured at work, but it doesn’t have to be as long as you stay informed.
Now that you know more about what to do if an injury happens while you’re working, you’re better prepared for future possibilities.
To get some more helpful tips for daily living, check out some of the articles on our website.