Injured on the Job? Take these 5 Steps Now
Getting hurt on the job can be hard enough to deal with. However, sometimes the employer and workman’s compensation companies make it tougher by denying claims.
If you need to remember one thing, remember this: you have rights. A work-related injury does not have to go untreated or uncompensated. If you have been injured on the job, here are 5 steps you need to take now:
Step 1: Report The Injury
Talk to your employer as soon as possible when you’re injured on the job. This is important at the outset of a worker’s compensation claim, as they might try to deny you on a technicality – the injury was not reported promptly. The “they” we are talking about consist of both the employer and the worker’s compensation company.
Step 2: Identify the Injury As Work-related
If you intend to see a doctor – highly advised – inform the doctor immediately that it is a work-related injury. In fact, when you get to the receptionist, tell them right away that you were injured on the job. This is to ensure that it gets documented properly and quickly.
It’s also important because there may be an attempt to deny the claim based on failure to note in the records that the injury is work-related.
Step 3. Put Your Injury In Writing
In Missouri, each employer and their insurance company must file a First Reports of Injury form to the Division of Workers Compensation within 30 days after being informed of the injury. So you can see why it is extremely important that you inform your employer – in writing – of the injury, as soon as possible.
Be sure to include the date, time and place where the injury occurred, as well as the details surrounding the injury, and finally your name and address. Keep a copy of this notice for yourself.
Step 4. Keep a Record of All Details Related to Injury and Care
Keep detailed records during this process. Write down all the days you missed work, travel to and from medical appointments or treatment, and any other medically related expenses.
The reason for all of this documentation is because you can be compensated for it, whether it’s mileage to and from medical facilities or if you have to pay for medicine out of your own pocket.
Step 5: Get Help From a Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Worker’s compensation is handled through insurance companies. Just like other companies, they will do their best to find any reason, even flimsy ones, to deny claims. You need to be careful in how you answer their attempts to find something to hold against you as well.
Here is where a workers compensation attorney can help in filing your claim. They can help you fill out the forms, deal directly with the insurance company and oversee the case as a whole to make sure justice is served.
They can also be helpful if you get denied. As we mentioned earlier, insurance companies are notorious for finding every lame excuse they can to deny your claim. If you have a good attorney dealing with the insurance company directly, they can fight in your behalf, especially if your claim is valid.
If you are dealing with a work-related injury, we hope that these steps will help you on the road to compensation, while you continue on your road to recovery.
Never be intimidated if your employer tries to give you a hard time about it. You have rights and there are legal implications for the employer. Take these 5 steps starting today.