Workplace accidents can occur on any given day across nearly any industry. An injury that occurs on the job can result in not only painful and lasting injuries to your physical health, it can also devastate your financial wellbeing.
With so many distractions available at our fingertips through our smartphones and social media, employees are becoming increasingly distracted in the workplace, just as they might be distracted while on the road. This can result in greater risk of injuring themselves as well as injuring others.
If you are unable to perform tasks necessary to the job due to injury, you may find yourself unable to work for weeks, months, or even years. The consequences of an accident may mean an inability to work due to unforeseen injuries as well as facing a mountain of costly medical bills that could lead to a path of financial ruin.
To protect employees, workplaces are required to provide workers’ compensation for injuries sustained on the job in order to help lessen the financial blow dealt to them as they recover. But what if you are having a challenging time getting your company to pay your workers’ compensation claim?
Here’s how you can protect yourself from a financial crisis if you are injured on the job.
File a Report Immediately
If you are injured in the workplace, it is vital that you report the incident to your employer and human resources (HR) department as quickly as possible no matter how minor the injury first appears. Filing an injury report with your employer and working with HR early on in the process will help you in a variety of ways.
First, there will be official documentation of the circumstances of your injury: the nature of the injury, the time of day, who was involved, whether there were witnesses, any injuries incurred, etc. It is important to have this information documented as soon as possible to ensure accuracy of the events of the injury. This is valuable information to have documented for the processing of any workers’ compensation claim and to help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Secondly, reporting an injury to your supervisor as soon as it occurs will alert your employer to the injury and help protect your right to a claim. Working with HR early on in the process will help minimize delays, missteps, and miscommunication. These steps will help protect you in the long run.
Protect your finances by keeping track of any hospital bills, insurance claims, and other paperwork associated with your injuries. You may never know what piece of information will be vital in making your claim.
Get a Medical Examination
It is critical to get a physical examination following a workplace injury. Visit a doctor’s office or hospital emergency room as soon as an injury occurs. Even if your injury doesn’t seem major or life-threatening, it is important to get examined for a few reasons.
First, it is essential to your health and wellbeing to determine the extent of the injury to prevent long-lasting damage. This is crucial because the best medical care is preventative care. You never know what small bump or minor headache could lead to a more devastating injury in the future. Ensure that you have a thorough and detailed physical examination by a doctor.
Next, it will be important to obtain an official medical report that details any injuries. When speaking with healthcare providers, be detailed in what you have experienced. Be specific about what you were doing when you got hurt, where you were injured, and what it felt like.
Do not minimize your pain in order to rush back to work.
Learn whether any consequences of the injuries have rendered you unable to perform your job duties or regular daily tasks. Ask for a medical opinion as to whether the injury might force you to seek alternative employment or render you unable to work at all.
Documentation of this will come in handy if your employer refuses to recognize an injury or pay your workers’ compensation claim.
An important self-care tip: don’t let any eagerness to return to the job prevent you from taking proper care of yourself. Listen to your doctor’s treatment and recovery plan to take care of yourself accordingly. Insurance companies may be reluctant to help process your claim if you failed to seek out essential medical attention or have failed to follow doctor’s orders in caring for your body and wellbeing.
Hire an Attorney
If you are unfamiliar with the process, filing for workers’ compensation is a time sensitive matter and can be a confusing process. Without detailed documentation, proper filing, and an adequate support system, many employees are left unable to collect just compensation. This results in injured employees facing significant financial burdens.
If you believe it is going to be difficult to get your employer to pay your workers’ compensation claim, consider hiring a workplace injury lawyer such as https://www.fdazar.com/ to help review your company’s disability insurance policy as your next step.
Seeking counsel from an attorney who specializes in claims against injuries sustained on the job will help you to collect the damages you deserve. A qualified attorney can also help protect you from any attempts by an employer to downplay the injury, refuse compensation, or otherwise prevent you from collecting on your workers’ compensation claim. Furthermore, an attorney can also help you develop a plan that gets you back to a productive and safe work environment without the threat of enduring financial ruin.
If your injury leaves you with an injurious permanent disability, it is essential that you have the necessary compensation to provide for yourself and your family. Even a short-term disability or minor workplace injury that keeps you off the job for a few days can significantly impact your pay and leave you struggling to pay the bills.
By taking these steps, you are protecting yourself and ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for your workplace injury.