If you’re injured on the job, your immediate attention should turn to your injuries, health and receiving the necessary treatment as quickly as you can. While this is important, it’s critical that you also take steps to protect your potential workers’ compensation claim.
Here are some of the many things you can do:
- Receive medical care: As noted above, your health is the most important thing. Not only do you need to receive treatment to stabilize your injuries, but it also works in your favor when filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If you don’t receive medical care, there’s no way to verify that you were injured on the job.
- Report the injury: If possible, report the injury to your supervisor right after it occurs. This is easy enough if they’re on the job site. However, things don’t always work out that way, so you may need to report the incident in another manner, such as by calling the HR department.
- Consult with your medical team: Once you receive your initial treatment and understand your injuries, consult with your medical team on what to do next. They’ll lay out the next steps in your treatment, thus allowing you to determine if you can return to work. Also, don’t be shy about asking your doctor if you should take time off.
- File a timely claim: You’ve talked to your doctor and realize that you’re not returning to work any time in the near future. This should prompt you to file a workers’ compensation claim. Waiting too long puts your claim at risk. Do this as soon as you know that you’ll be taking time off to nurse your injury back to health.
Here’s the bad part: Even if you do everything as you should, you could still receive a workers’ compensation denial letter.
If your claim is denied, don’t assume there’s nothing you can do to protect your legal rights. You can file an appeal with hopes of having the denial overturned. Your goal is to do whatever it takes to receive the compensation you deserve until you can return to your job.