What are Your Rights in During a Workplace Injury?
If you have ever experienced an injury at work, you know what a hassle it can be to get everything straightened out. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could possibly be out of work for days, weeks or even months. In the interim healing period what do you do to make the bills and pay your mortgage? This can be a very distressing event for those who experience workplace injuries. There are steps to effectively deal with an injury incurred in the workplace, and usually you can get your employers workers compensation benefit insurance to help with the medical bills and, if you are lucky, some of your regular expenses.
What are the steps to take following an injury at work?
The first thing you should do following an injury at work is report it. If you wait to report an injury there is a high likelihood that the company you work for will dispute the claim. In this sense, time is of the essence when it comes to reporting injuries. Most private health insurances will not cover work related injuries, so if you want to be able to pay your medical bills this is a very important step in the recovery process.
Another good tip for dealing with injuries in the workplace is having witnesses. In this sense, your coworkers are your best friends. Talk to coworkers who were present at the time of the injury and make them aware that you are planning on filing a claim and you will be using them as a witness to the fact that the injury did occur while you were working.
You have the right to seek medical treatment if you are injured on the job. Don’t fall into the trap that so many workers do and avoid reporting your incident in an effort to avoid going through the steps of filling out paperwork. The paperwork may be a hassle, but some injuries cause further damage later in life, at which point it will be far too late to file any sort of claim with your employer.
Don’t wait to go seek medical attention. This can cause questions as to the validity of your claim. If at all possible, go to the doctor immediately to have your injuries evaluated. Documentation is the key to getting workers compensation to pay for your injury. Keep copies of all documentation in a safe place that you can easily retrieve them if needed.
When the steps to filing a claim are properly executed, you may be eligible for payment of medical bills, payment of a portion of your salary while out of work, compensation for travel to and from doctors visits, and paid sick leave while you recover.
I can not stress enough the importance of keeping good documentation in the event of a work related injury. You are entitled to the benefits provided by your employer, but you could miss out on these benefits if you are lackadaisical in your reporting and documentation.