First and foremost, get medical treatment right away. Be sure to tell the medical provider—the company nurse, emergency medical technicians, your family doctor, or the ER doctor at the hospital—that you were hurt on the job and how you were hurt.
Next, as soon as you can after you are injured, notify your employer of your work injury. Failure to promptly notify your employer of your work injury may give your employer and its insurance company grounds to deny your worker’s compensation benefits. You need to give notice as soon as possible to protect your right to income, medical and job retraining benefits; your employer needs timely notice to get you the medical treatment you need and get you back on the job. Even if you suffer a minor injury, or one that needs no medical treatment initially, report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. A minor injury may cause problems down the road and require more medical treatment than you originally anticipate.
Your Employee Handbook may tell you whom you need to notify, or talk to your boss or supervisor, the company nurse or the Human Resources department and let them know about your injury, how you were injured, and who may have witnessed your accident.
Why wait to give notice? If you notify your employer immediately, your injury is documented right away; witnesses memories are fresh; any equipment involved in the accident can be preserved and examined; you get the medical treatment you need right away; and there is no question later of whether your injuries are work-related.
Workers’ compensation laws exist to compensate injured workers for on-the-job injuries without the need for a lengthy court process. You don’t have to prove someone else was at fault or caused your injury in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits will pay you a portion of your lost wages if you miss time from work due to the work injury, and current and future medical benefits related to the work injury. If your work injury causes a permanent injury, you may also be entitled to permanent disability benefits, lifetime medical benefits to treat your work injury, and job retraining services to retrain you to do another job if you cannot return to your regular job as a result of the work injury.
If you have any problems with your work injury claim, the Becker Law Office is experienced in workers’ compensation law. We’ve helped many people injured on the job and can help you get the benefits you deserve.