You never know when an accident is going to occur while you're at work. Whether it's a trip and fall accident that leaves you with a sore hip or a more serious accident that leaves you with debilitating injuries, an accident on the job can interfere with every aspect of your life. In 2015, there were 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries. Worker's compensation insurance is designed to provide medical care for your work-related injuries as well as financial compensation while you're unable to work. If you've been injured on the job, here are four steps you should take to ensure that you receive the care and compensation you're entitled to.
Don't Wait to Report the Incident
If you've been injured at work, the worst thing you can do is delay filing a report. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to receive worker's compensation benefits. In fact, in some states there are mandatory time limits you need to file a report by. In California, you only have 30 days from the date of your accident to report it to your employer. However, you have from one to five years to file an official claim for worker's compensation benefits. Don't risk your benefits. Notify your employer immediately.
Go to the Doctor Your Employer Provides
Once you've reported the incident to your employer, you'll need to seek medical care. It's important that you go to the doctor that your employer provides. While it's fine for you to see your personal physician, your actual care will need to be from an authorized worker's compensation physician. If you've listed your physician as your emergency-care physician on employment paperwork, they'll be designated as your worker's compensation physician. If you're not sure whether you've done that, be sure to speak to your human-resource manager before making your appointment.
Keep a Journal
If you've been injured on the job, start keeping a detailed journal. You'll want to document everything that pertains to your accident and injuries, including the date and time of your accident. You should also complete daily entries about how your injuries are interfering with your daily life, such as if you're unable to work or if your pain levels prevent you from interacting with your family. These details will help you obtain the care and compensation you deserve.
Seek Legal Advice
If you've suffered workplace injuries, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. In most cases, you'll receive the care you need without problems. However, it's important to remember that worker's compensation is an insurance policy, and that means there will be an insurance company involved in the process. Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of saving their customers money. Your attorney will ensure that you receive the treatment and the compensation you're entitled to as an injured worker.
Don't take chances with your health or your future. If you've been injured on the job, use the tips provided above to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have questions about your benefits, be sure to talk to an attorney such as one from Thompson Legal Services.