What to Do If You Are Injured on the Job

 Thousands of people are killed every year on the job, and multitudes of others suffer serious injuries. On-the-job injuries account for huge losses of time and productivity, but if you’re hurt at work, these concerns are secondary to your own. These injuries can prevent you from working, result in lost wages and even land you in bankruptcy thanks to high medical bills. Fortunately, there are workers compensation protections, and this is how you can become eligible. 

Thousands of people are killed every year on the job, and multitudes of others suffer serious injuries. On-the-job injuries account for huge losses of time and productivity, but if you’re hurt at work, these concerns are secondary to your own. These injuries can prevent you from working, result in lost wages and even land you in bankruptcy thanks to high medical bills. Fortunately, there are workers compensation protections, and this is how you can become eligible. 

Report the Injury Immediately

The most important thing to do if you’re injured on the job is immediately report the incident. Most people want to try to just get by without reporting their injury in hopes that they won't cause problems with their employer. This is a mistake! Each state has its own rules when it comes to worker’s compensation, but there’s always a time limit. In Texas, for instance, you have 30 days to report an injury to your employer or you could lose all rights to seek compensation.  Additionally, reporting the injury right away will minimize the possibility of your employer later claiming that you may have suffered your injury away from the job. 

Seek Medical Attention

To receive any type of compensation for your injury, you will always have to show that you were actually injured. This means you’ll need to seek medical attention for your injury. This is also important so that a potentially minor injury doesn’t turn into something more serious. And you do NOT have to go the the company doctor first (although your employer may have a policy that requires you to go to the company doctor in order to keep your job). Seek medical attention from any doctor or facility that takes workers compensation. 

File a Worker's Comp Claim

Once you’ve reported your injury, your employer has to file the appropriate paperwork to get your benefits started. If this isn’t done in a timely manner, your bills can quickly pile up as you’re unable to work. If your employer refuses to file the paperwork, regardless of their reasoning, you can typically find the right forms, such as these for Texas, online. 

Know When to Get an Attorney

You won’t always need a workers' compensation lawyer after an accident at work. Minor injuries that only keep you out of work for a day or so are typically easy claims to handle. There are a variety of instances, though, when speaking to an attorney will be in your best interest.

If your employer refuses to file your worker's compensation paperwork, for instance, a workers' compensation attorney may be the only way to ensure fair treatment.

Also, your benefit rate is controlled by your employer. If your employer is hostile to your claim, it may underreport your wages in order to lower the amount of benefits paid to you. A workers' compensation attorney will be able to audit your payroll records to make sure you are getting the most benefits you deserve.

Finally, you can sue if third parties had some involvement in your accident. 

Stay Up to Date on Current Status

Even if you don’t opt for a workers' compensation attorney, you’ll need to stay abreast of the current status of your worker's compensation claim. There are additional deadlines, such as filing an appeal, which must be met if you’re to maintain your eligibility for compensation. 

Additionally, if a worker's compensation insurer appears to be dragging their feet or purposefully trying to offer an unfair compensation package, you may be eligible for additional money. This is because insurers have a legal requirement to pay benefits in a timely manner. If they fail in this duty, they can be held liable, and the only way you’ll know if this is happening is to stay informed throughout the process.

Getting injured on the job can cause serious issues in every aspect of your life, but this doesn’t mean you have to deal with it on your own. Worker's compensation was made to support employees who are unable to work as a result of on-the-job injuries. By following the appropriate steps in every situation, you’ll ensure the best chance of receiving fair compensation.