I’ve Been Injured at Work. What Do I Do?
If you have sustained an injury that is work-related, there are certain steps you should take in order to protect your rights and ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. Each state has workers’ compensation laws that govern employers and sets the rules and regulations that each company must adhere to. The majority of employers do have workers’ compensation insurance in order to protect themselves and cover the costs of an injured worker. If you have been injured, it is a good idea to contact a workers’ compensation attorney to find out what benefits you may be entitled to. In the meantime, the following are some steps you will want to take.
How to Protect Your Claim
The first step you should take is to report the injury immediately. Most companies have protocols in place which describe the procedure if an injury occurs so you will want to make sure you follow that procedure. Failure to follow the procedure could actually result in a formal reprimand that stays on your employee record.
Even if you do not think you have been injured after an accident or incident, you will still want to report it occurred. Sometimes, an incident occurs and the worker does not realize they have suffered an injury until later on when they are home or maybe a day or two later. A delay in reporting the accident could result in the employer denying the claim because there is no proof the injury took place on the job.
If your employer agrees you were hurt at work, their insurance company could still deny the claim because of the delay in reporting. This then leaves the employee responsible for their own medical bills and without a paycheck coming in if they are unable to work while they recover.
Regardless of what your employer’s procedure is, it is a good idea to make your notifications in writing, such as email, notifying the members of management you are required to. This gives you electronic proof that notification was made should anyone try to deny the claim on those grounds.
Make sure you speak to any other employees who may have witnessed the incident that injured you. Having witnesses can help should there be any issues on whether or not the accident occurred. The more proof you have, the harder it is for a company to deny your injury claim.
Contact a Work Injury Law Firm Today
Your next step should be to contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney who will make sure that you receive all the benefits you should receive. Injured workers without an attorney may not be aware of what all their rights are and what employers are allowed and not allowed to do in these circumstances. Having an attorney also makes it harder for insurance companies to delay paying claims and approving treatments because they know tactics like these can result in hearings and reprimands with the state’s workers’ compensation agency.
To find out what legal options you have if you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, call an experienced attorney, like a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney from a law firm like Rispoli & Borneo P.C.