If you’ve ever been injured at work and had to go through the workers’ compensation process, you know how confusing it can be. Workers’ comp is meant to help you recover from workplace injuries and protect your rights as an employee, but not everyone understands how it works.
The purpose of this article is to explain how workers’ compensation works and ensure that everything goes smoothly for both you and your employer.
Know What to Do When You Get Injured at Work
If you’re injured on the job, the first step is to seek medical attention. Even if you think your injuries are minor, your doctor will evaluate things and let you know when it’s safe for you to return to work.
Next, report the injury right away. Report the incident to your employer in writing so they can start tracking what happened and make sure that they do everything legally required of them. Even though you have plenty of time to file a claim, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get fully compensated.
Check in with your employer about how your recovery is going, letting him or her know if there are any complications or setbacks. The company has insurance to cover the costs of accidents and injuries, so don’t think filing for compensation will put them out of business.
Write Down Injuries and Symptoms
Write down how you were injured. For example, “I was walking down a flight of stairs when I slipped on some ice and fell, breaking my ankle in two places.” Also, taking pictures of the scene of the accident is possible can help to be solid evidence if any concerns or issues arise throughout the process.
Write down what you did to treat the injury. For example, “I went to the doctor where they wrapped my ankle for stabilization before having me transported to an orthopedic surgeon who performed surgery on my ankle later that day.” Doing this will provide evidence and a clear timetable of when everything happened. It will also be crucial if you end up needing legal assistance. An attorney might know all the laws, but without any documentation, their hands may be tied.
Document All Aspects of the Injury
In addition to documenting the injury, you’ll also need to keep a record of all treatment and medical bills. You should keep any information that proves you were injured at work. This could include:
- Copies of all medical records, including tests and consultations with doctors (including specialists).
- All prescriptions and medications taken as a result of your injury.
- Personal notes of how you are feeling or if things are worsening.
Follow Up With Everyone Involved
After you’ve been approved for workers’ compensation, you should follow up with everyone involved. Ensure you keep records of all your interactions with the insurance company, including emails, phone calls, and any other written correspondence.
If you need help with the paperwork or if there’s a delay in getting your benefits, talk to your supervisor. You might also want to consider getting legal assistance from an attorney. They will be able to tell you which steps should be taken to get the best return and assistance possible.
The best thing you can do is stay safe at work and keep your injury prevention strategies in place. You can also talk with your employer about ways they can improve workplace safety and make sure that if something does happen, there is a plan in place.