What Should I Do If I’m Injured at Work?
Being injured at your place of work can be a stressful and frightening experience. On one hand, you might be worried about the fact that you won’t be able to work due to your injury. How will you continue to pay your bills and cover medical expenses while you take time off from work to recover? At the same time, you might be concerned that your employer was somehow at fault. Many people even have the irrational fear that they’re going to be fired for getting injured as if it’s somehow proof of their own clumsiness or incompetence. Fortunately, all of the aforementioned concerns can become non-issues if you heed the simple tips given below:
1. Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Anyone who is injured on the job should consider speaking to a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you feel like the injury was entirely your own fault due to a mistake that you made, there’s still a very good chance that some of the liability would legally fall on your employer, which would provide grounds for filing a claim. Every employer that operates a place of business with employees is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance for this exact reason, so they often will not hesitate to make use of their policy to avoid the hassle of going to court. Still, having a good lawyer in your corner will help you maximize your chances of obtaining maximum compensation.
2. Obtain Medical Treatment and Documentation
If you haven’t already been treated by a medical professional, now would be a good time to handle that. If you have, go ahead and collect your medical records from that the hospital or doctor’s office where you received treatment. This will often be the only tangible input you’ll need to provide your attorney with in order to initiate the process of filing a successful claim. Without such documentation to serve as evidence on your behalf, you’ll have a much lower chance of having your claim approved.
3. Understand Your Own Rights
Now that you have all the proof and assistance that you need to move forward with the process, it’s still important to do your own research to make sure you’re familiar with your exact rights. That way, you can have meaningful and collaborative conversations with your lawyer from an informed perspective. Since the laws vary by state, you’ll need to look into your own state’s statutes and guidelines that govern workers’ compensation insurance and claims.
Don’t Let Your Compensation Go Unclaimed
Anybody who is injured at work and doesn’t at least attempt to file a workers’ compensation claim is probably leaving money on the table for no reason. Obviously, when you’re dealing with a loss of income and increased expenses due to medical bills, you can’t afford to also leave your compensation unclaimed. Thus, it’s imperative to take workers’ compensation seriously and perform the above steps at your earliest possible convenience.