5 Immediate Steps That You Must Take after Getting Injured at Work
In 2019 alone, the U.S. private sector recorded about 3 million work-related injuries and illnesses, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). To protect workers, all states in the U.S. except Texas require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). This insurance policy covers various costs related to workplace injuries, including lost wages, medical costs, and funeral expenses. To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must file a workers’ compensation claim as required.
Here are five immediate steps that you must take after getting injured at work.
1. Examine the Injury
Every year, thousands of American workers lose their lives due to workplace accidents. In 2019, workplace accidents accounted for more than 5000 fatalities in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Keeping this in mind, you should first examine the extent of your injuries to determine the next course of action.
2. Seek Medical Attention and Cooperate
Once you determine the extent of your workplace injuries, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ideally, you should visit the nearest available medical facility, especially if you require immediate medical attention. Also, make sure to cooperate fully with the incident investigation team.
3. Keep a Thorough Record of Your Interactions with the Company or the Insurance Representatives
The workers’ compensation claim process typically requires the employer to inspect and document the incident. The necessary paperwork includes witness statements, medical reports, medical receipts, employee employment records, and independent medical examinations. For this reason, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) advises employers to document every detail of the injury. Questions such as where the injury happened, how it happened, witnesses present, and the possibility of another similar injury will be asked and recorded.
Apart from the records maintained by your employer, you must keep a detailed record of your own interactions with your employer or their insurance company. You should also note if there were others present during the interactions. Keep track of all conversations you had with medical professionals or anyone else who directly or indirectly affected your treatment.
4. Fill the Workplace Accident Report Form
The accident report form is one of the documents that enable you to provide information concerning the injury. It also helps the doctor to understand the nature of the injury and to administer the right treatment. While it may seem like a minor thing, failing to fill the workplace accident report form may arouse legal battles as well as cause disagreements with the insurance provider.
5. Inform Your Employer
When you suffer a workplace injury or illness, you should inform your employer immediately. While at it, let your employer know that you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim. This will help prevent issues such as plausible deniability of the cause of the injury. Take note that you have to file your workers’ compensation claim within the specified time limit. If you fail to do this, your employer may deny your claim.
To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you should take these five steps immediately after getting injured at your workplace.
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