I Have a Work-Related Injury: What are My Employer’s Responsibilities?
Work-related injuries can occur in any setting and any industry. Work injuries are not limited to catastrophic events. An injury can come from the type of work you do, such as repetitive motion injuries, to an accident occurring in the workplace. Employees should be aware of their employer’s obligations as well as their own when an injury occurs.
An Injury Report Must Be Completed
If you are injured while performing your job, your employer must complete an injury report as soon as they have been informed of the accident or injury. This report will serve as notice to the employer and worker’s compensation that you have been hurt.
If for some reason, your employer refuses to complete a work injury report, you should contact a lawyer. Your employer is obligated to prepare this report and report it to worker’s compensation so that you can receive medical care for your injury.
In some states, the employee is required to report the injury directly to the worker’s compensation company. If this is the case, you are encouraged to speak with a lawyer prior to making your claim. This will help ensure that you are treated fairly and correctly by the insurance company.
Medical Care Must Be Provided
You cannot be denied medical care if you have been injured. It is essential, however, that you follow through with all of the medical care that is offered. If you miss appointments or decline certain types of care, your case could be closed. The insurance company will view these actions as a sign you no longer need care.
If the medical care you are receiving is not helping, you have the right to request a second opinion. However, you may want to contact a worker’s compensation lawyer prior to making this request. In several states, you only get to see one additional doctor for worker’s compensation claims after the initial medical exam, and you want to make sure that you are sent to the right type of doctor for your condition.
Protect Your Rights And Consult With A Worker’s Comp Lawyer
Worker’s compensation insurance is obligated to cover your medical care and a portion of your lost wages while you are injured. Because of these obligations, the insurer will push for you to return to work as soon as possible, even if it is at a limited capacity and even if you are not entirely healed.
To protect your rights to make a full recovery from your injury, you are encouraged to speak with a lawyer about your worker’s compensation claim. Your attorney can:
- Help you manage your worker’s comp paperwork and all interactions with the insurance company.
- Ensure that you are receiving the type of medical care you need for your injury.
- Prevent you from returning to work too early and causing more harm to your injury.
- Negotiate with worker’s compensation for a settlement to cover all of your losses that are a result of this injury.
An attorney can also make sure that you are receiving all of the benefits that you are entitled to while you are off work. Worker’s compensation insurance is required to cover a portion of your wages based on your average wages for either the previous month or the previous year, depending on which state you live. They are also required to reimburse you for mileage for your trips to medical care and over-the-counter expenses for supplies required to care for your condition and requested by your care provider.
Worker’s compensation claims can be challenging to prove, and it is not unusual for a claim to be denied, especially if the injury did not occur in an accident situation. To protect your rights and your health, speak with a worker’s compensation lawyer about your case and condition, and discover your options for making a successful claim.