Accidents at work may be due to a safety issue or the negligence of other people or your employer and can lead to injuries. Accidents can happen anytime, but with safety precautions implemented at work, they can be avoided and prevented.
In the event of a workplace injury, however, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which is a type of insurance your employer has. If you decide to file a legal complaint against your employer, remember that it may jeopardize your benefits. In workers’ compensation, however, the employee need not prove that the employer’s negligence caused the accident, unlike in personal injury claims.
To protect your legal rights if you’ve sustained an injury in the workplace, here are some essential tips for you.
Inform Your Employer
Informing your employer of the accident through an accident report is important as problems may arise if you don’t report it right away. For you to qualify for workers’ compensation, you must adhere to the specified period for reporting the accident, which is usually very short in many states. This is why you should report any job-related accident as soon as it happens.
If there’s no obvious injury at the time of the accident, reporting is still encouraged as it can serve as a wake-up call for your employer to develop and implement new safety rules and measures. This way, accidents and injuries will be prevented from happening to other employees in the future.
Get Medical Treatment
We often say that health is wealth. Indeed, you can’t function and perform your work if you’re stuck in your bed and feeling listless. When involved in an accident at work and the injury asks for immediate treatment, the emergency room should be your first stop. If you’ve sustained a minor injury, talk to your employer who will decide whether you should go to a particular doctor or you can choose your own.
If your employer requires you to see his chosen healthcare professional and you’re not satisfied with the findings and how the visit went, you can choose to seek a second opinion. However, check first with the workers’ compensation if you’re entitled to it; otherwise, you may lose your benefits. Before taking a step, you should consider relevant factors first.
File A Claim
Your employer is the one who will file a workers’ compensation claim, and he’s unable to do so if he’s not aware of the injury. Sometimes, you might have reported an accident before but is unaware of any injury caused by it. Once you discover an injury, you must inform your employer immediately. If a workers’ compensation claim has been filed, you have the right to ask for a copy from your employer. Follow up on the claim regularly.
Consult A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If anything goes wrong or your employer’s insurance provider denies your claim, you can get help from an expert workers’ compensation attorney. The attorney should be able to help you determine your rights and the benefits you’re entitled to receive, as well as the presence of any factors that might have contributed to the rejection of your claim.
While most employees qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, others do not. This can be due to certain factors such as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and being a casual employee. Being able to file a claim doesn’t end your journey, as there can be many challenges that threaten your right to the benefits. That’s why it’s important to reach out to an attorney with experience in dealing with workplace injury and workers’ compensation.
Pamela Richardson is a writer for The Levin Firm. She hopes to impart knowledge on the law to the common reader through her pieces. Pamela tries to keep herself fit and active during her free time and is hoping to one day start up her own new business.