Despite a company’s best efforts, injuries to employees can and do happen. Most companies have safety practices in place that are designed to reduce the incident of injuries in an effort to keep employees safe and keep costs low for employers.
For this reason, you may be tempted not to report an injury to your employer, even if it is serious, as you fear retaliation or that your employer may blame you for the injury. However, failing to report when you are injured at work, even if it is minor, can actually reduce your chances of coverage should the injury worsen over time. Therefore, it is important to follow some simple procedures after you are injured on the job.
When you are injured on the job, the first thing to do is to complete an accident report. Even if you don’t believe you were injured, an accident report documents the incident and could allow your employer to recognize an area where a new safety procedure could prevent a similar accident that could lead to injury.
In addition, your injury may not be evident initially as there are cases where an injury developed over time. Without the accident report, you will have difficulty proving to your employer that the injury was a result of your workplace accident. Some companies have report forms that must be completed while others may request a written statement of the incident.
In some states, such as New Jersey, a written report does not need to be filed as the injury can be reported verbally. However, a written report provides both you and your employer with documentation that the injury was reported.
If you sustain a workplace injury, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If the injury is serious, visit your local emergency room for treatment. In Delaware, you have a right to choose the treating physician, which means your employer cannot require you to visit a certain doctor or healthcare facility.
In Pennsylvania, if your employer provides you with at least six options for physician or healthcare provider, you must visit one of those providers for your initial treatment and remain with them for at least 90 days. If that physician suggests invasive surgery, you may get a second opinion that must be paid by workers compensation.
If your employer does not have a list of preferred physicians, or if you are not satisfied with the care you receive after 90 days, you may choose your own medical provider. In New Jersey, the employer may select the healthcare provider who will treat you for your injury.
If you are off work as a result of your injury, keep a record of all time missed as workers compensation is required to reimburse you for any lost work time. You should also keep copies of any medical bills, including doctor visits, prescriptions, equipment or anything else used to treat your injury.
Your employer may request a release that allows them to receive copies of your medical records from the treating physician, but it is also important to keep copies of all documents for yourself as well.
One of the best ways to insure your workers comp claim is handled properly is to hire our workers compensation lawyers. A workers comp attorney can help guide you through the process, help you complete any forms required by your employer and advise you on the steps you should take in order to receive proper compensation. Even if your employer seems to be working with you throughout the process, having our attorneys on your side helps prevent any issues from arising in the future.
If you or a loved one have been injured at work, contact the knowledgeable workers compensation lawyers at Lundy Law today. You can arrange your initial consultation through our online form or call us at 1-800-Lundy Law. Let us help you get the compensation available to you under the law.