There are potential hazards in every job, whether you’re in construction or in the office. Due to this, most employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance so that injured workers can receive fair compensation for their injuries without having to file a lawsuit.
Workers’ compensation benefits are only available if you report your injury promptly and do everything required of you during the claim process. However, insurance companies sometimes incorrectly deny or undervalue claims.
If you’ve been hurt at work, here are five things and actions you should do to make sure you get all the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Inform Your Employer of Your Injury
Your employer should be notified of your injury as soon as possible, depending on how severe it is.
As workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault, you can report any injury you sustain on the job without fear, regardless of whether you caused the injury. Additionally, you should not fear retaliation from your employer since punitive actions – such as a pay cut or demotion – are illegal.
As much information about the accident as possible should be included when reporting your injury, including the names of witnesses, how the accident occurred, the place, and when it occurred. Be sure to document how your work contributed to your injury if you developed it gradually – known as a repetitive stress injury – and tell your employer as soon as you notice it.
Worker’s compensation may cover repetitive stress injuries such as:
- Having carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lumbar injuries
- Disc injuries
- Stress fractures
Seek medical treatment.
You and your family’s main concern is likely to be your health after sustaining a work-related injury. If you suspect a repetitive stress injury, you should consult your own doctor and notify your employer if you think the injury may be work-related. Get medical attention if you are injured at work in a sudden accident – like the man who received $1.5 million in compensation after a crane operator dropped a heavy hammer bell on his head while he was installing docks on a barge.
You may be asked to submit to an independent medical examination (IME) by a doctor chosen by the insurance company once you begin the workers’ compensation process. Your insurance company will use this examination to determine how much compensation you should receive. A lawyer is likely to be needed to file an appeal if you believe the insurer has undervalued your claim, or if the doctor who performed your IME misrepresented your injuries.
Observe the doctor’s instructions
Even though you should never deviate from a doctor’s instructions, it’s especially important not to during the workers’ compensation process. Insurance companies may dismiss or undervalue your claim if you fail to follow their instructions closely.
This means attending all of your doctor’s appointments, taking all prescribed medications, following treatment guidelines, and only doing tasks at work that are permissible.
Worker’s compensation claims can be filed quickly
Your state and the workers’ compensation insurance plan your employer has may require you to file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as 30 days after learning of your injury.
In any case, you should notify your employer as soon as possible so they can notify the insurance company and begin the workers’ compensation process. Don’t let technicality prevent you from getting compensation for your work-related injury.
If Your Claim is Denied, Consult A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you followed all the steps listed above, you would receive enough compensation for your injuries. In some cases, however, insurance companies undervalue and incorrectly deny claims. To help appeal a claim that was undervalued or wrongfully denied, you may want to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
We are happy to hear from you if you have been injured on the job and would like to begin the workers’ compensation process, or if you would like to appeal a decision made on a claim you have already filed. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about how our attorneys may be able to help.