Although you may not enjoy getting up and going every day, your job should not be the bane of your existence, nor should it be dangerous. As an employee, you have the right to be guaranteed a relatively comfortable and safe working environment (with the understanding that some jobs are more pleasant than others). Your employer is obligated to protect you from workplace injuries and keep you out of harm’s way.
Unfortunately, plans don’t always work out as they should, and you may get caught in the crossfire. In fact, over three million workplace incidents accidentally injure or kill employees every year. Consequently, even if you think you have the safest job in the world, it is recommended that you know what to do if your safety becomes compromised at work.
Following the Rules to Receive Worker’s Compensation
After suffering an injurious accident at work, you must be prepared to complete the following obligations in order to secure a worker’s compensation claim.
- Inform your employer. As soon as you’re able, make sure you or a co-worker informs your employer that you have been injured. The law requires that you report a work accident or injury within 30 days of when it occurred or within 30 days of when you became aware of the injury. Cumulative injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome can take weeks or months to fully develop, but as soon as the condition is diagnosed (and confirmed that it is work-related) you must report it to your employer.
- Fill out a workplace injury report. Employers are obliged to keep workplace injury reports available for employees by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When you’ve been injured, demand to fill out the report (even when your employer says it isn’t necessary) and get a copy for your records.
- Get medical treatment. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible, even for minor injuries. A medical report can go a long way in establishing liability and the severity of an injury. However, when you do see a doctor, make sure your employer does not put limitations on whom you can see. Prior to the appointment, ask your employer or insurance company if there is an authorized hospital or physician that you must see for cases of workplace injuries. If it is an emergency and your employer is not available to verify a physician, go to the nearest emergency room and let your employer know as soon as possible what has happened and why you had to go to the ER.
- Call the insurance company. If your employer tells you to call the insurance company to explain the incident, do so, but refrain from admitting fault or assigning blame until you have spoken to an attorney.
- Contact reinforcements. Worker’s comp claims can be tedious and vexing, especially when your employer questions the validity of your claim—which, sadly, happens all too often. An experienced worker’s compensation attorney can help you gather the evidence you need, plead your case, and file your claim. We’ve been helping people like you secure their rightful benefits for over 20 years, and over those years, we’ve learned how to support and fight for our clients. Come see for yourself how our experience can help you by scheduling your free consultation today.