Getting injured while on the job is generally a frightening experience. Even if a worker is not scared about their long-term well being, they may be concerned about their ability to provide for themselves and their loved ones in the short-term.
It can be difficult to think about the future when you are trying to deal with the immediate needs of an injury, but knowing what steps to take after a work-related injury can reduce stress and get you started with the process of getting the workers' compensation benefits you deserve.
Filing a claim
The process of filing a workers' compensation claim begins as soon as you are injured.
- Get appropriate medical attention
The highest priority of everyone involved should be safety. Not just your safety, but the safety of everyone else as well. As soon as the scene is safe, medical attention should be the top priority.
When you are being treated for the injury, be sure to tell the health care providers that your injury is a work-related injury. Give them as much information as possible. Their report may be used in your workers' compensation claim.
- Report the injury
As soon as you are able to do so, you should notify your employer of the injury. It is important to know that this also applies to injuries that may have happened slowly, over time (carpal tunnel, mental illnesses, etc.) No matter when a work-related injury occurs, it should be treated seriously. As soon as you become aware of a work-related injury, you should notify your employer.
After you have reported the injury to your employer and any health care providers, they should have filled out a report. Employers will fill out a First Report of Injury (FROI) form and health care providers will fill out a Report of Work Ability (RWA). Both your employer and your insurer should get copies of these forms.
- Filing the claim
After you have taken all of these steps, your insurer should have filed a workers' compensation claim. Soon after this point you should find out if your claim was accepted or denied. If it was denied, you should contact an attorney right away to find out what your legal rights are.
These types of situations can seem overwhelming, but there are people who can help. If you have been injured in a work-related incident, it is suggested that you seek out the services of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional. They will work with you to get the justice you deserve.