Suppose you have been injured at work or contracted an illness while on the job, you should ensure that you get medical attention. You should also know that worker’s compensation could cover your treatment.
Such workplace injuries can occur randomly, even when you work in a very safe office job. You may end up being electrocuted by pouring water on a naked wire.
There are some jobs with a higher chance of injury than others, but you should always ensure that your organization has worker’s compensation insurance.
The following is what you should do after you are injured at work and how to handle the medical bills:
1. What to Do After You are Injured?
If you are injured on the job, you should immediately report it to your superior. You can either report the injury to the supervisor in writing or verbally, depending on your state of residence.
If the injury is serious, you should first seek medical attention. Seeking medical care immediately will ensure that you can file a claim for worker’s compensation.
Adequate medical care is vital to ensure that you recover and are healthy. It is also crucial to maximize your worker’s compensation benefits and receive proper compensation for your injuries.
Even if the injury seems minor, you should have a doctor check you. There are underlying medical conditions whose symptoms can appear dormant for weeks or months.
There are states with a statute of limitations regarding how long you have to file a claim with your employer if you are injured at work. Check if your state has a time frame for reporting the injury and do so in time, so you don’t lose any benefits or compensation you are legally privileged to after a workplace injury.
2. Do You Need a Lawyer?
Workers rarely need a lawyer after a workplace injury. However, you may need the help of Workers Compensation Lawyers, depending on the complexity of your case. You should look for a lawyer if you don’t understand your case or pushback from your employer. It would be best if you had a lawyer who specializes in worker’s compensation law from your state since there are varying state laws regarding worker’s compensation. A local lawyer will know the laws that apply to your state.
Your case may end up going to court, in which case you will need a lawyer. It is wise to have a lawyer represent you when you go to an administrative or court judge.
3. Where Should You Go For Treatment?
If you are injured on the job and serious, you should go to the nearest hospital and accept admittance to the emergency room. There is nothing more important than receiving the necessary medical attention.
However, if the injury is minor, you can choose the doctor who will address your injuries, and it is your legal right to do so. There are states with restrictions regarding receiving medical care, with some states giving your employer or insurance company the right to choose your doctor.
Other states require you to select your doctor before the accident and have them on file if you want them to treat you for a workplace injury. In some cases, you can see the company doctor for thirty days and have the option to switch to your regular physician after that if you so wish.
4. How Do You File a Worker’s Compensation Claim?
Once you receive medical attention for your injuries, you will have to pay the medical bills. That is where worker’s compensation comes into the picture.
Filing a worker’s compensation claim is much like filing any other claim with an insurance company. In this case, you will be filing a claim with your employer’s health insurance provider.
The first step in filing a claim and receiving worker’s compensation and benefits is to appraise the employer of your injuries. You must fill a worker’s compensation claim form, or else your employer has no obligation to compensate you for your injuries and subsequent medical bills.
There are several places where you can fill the claim form. The first is the doctor’s office, where you will receive medical attention for your injuries. The other place is your employer’s offices, particularly the human resource department.
If you do not find the claim forms in the above places, you can also file them with your state’s worker’s compensation offices. The government agency will help you receive due compensation from your employer.
Ensure you fill the claim form correctly, then add your signature and the relevant date. Make a copy of the claim form and keep one for your records.
Return the filled claim form to your employer. If you are able, you should hand-deliver it to the office. Otherwise, you can send it through the mail.
Your employer will fill their section of the claim and send it to the organization’s insurance provider. You should receive a response within two weeks from the insurance company about the state of your claim.
Most companies are required by law to have worker’s compensation insurance; hence you should not worry about your company not having insurance. If your employer claims to lack worker’s compensation insurance, you should reach out to your state’s labor office or worker’s compensation office for assistance.
Moreover, most states require the employer to pay for the medical bills for a workplace injury until the claim is accepted or rejected by the insurance company. If the claim receives approval, your employer will continue to pay for your treatment until you recover.
If your worker’s compensation claim is denied, you will have to pay your medical bills. However, you can appeal a denied claim, and if it is approved, you will receive reimbursement from the insurance company.
As you can see, a workplace injury is a sensitive issue with severe legal repercussions. If you suffer a workplace injury, you should ensure that you handle the issue very carefully and navigate it as skillfully as possible. The help of an experienced worker’s compensation attorney will be valuable in receiving adequate compensation. Remember, getting the medical attention you require should always be the priority after a workplace injury.