How To Claim Benefits After A Workplace Injury

May 31, 2023
How To Claim Benefits After A Workplace Injury
Fall And Fall Injury Accident At Workplace. Man Fell Down Stairs

Workplace injuries are an unfortunate reality in many industries across the United States, affecting countless individuals each year. Ranging from minor mishaps to serious and life-altering events, these incidents pose significant challenges for individuals injured at work.

For instance, if you’ve sustained a workplace injury, you may be confused and concerned. You’d also grapple with questions about your immediate medical needs and others. Because of this, understanding how to claim benefits following a workplace injury is essential. It can help you navigate this complex situation and ensure appropriate compensation and support for your recovery.

This feature provides a comprehensive guide on claiming benefits after sustaining an injury at work. Read on to learn more.

1. Report The Injury To Your Employer

One of the essential things to do when claiming benefits is to report the injury.

You should inform your immediate supervisor or manager about what happened as soon as the accident or injury occurs. Make sure to document this communication in writing by stating the nature of the injury, how it happened, and when and where it occurred. This can provide a valuable record of your workplace injury and serve as evidence later.

Moreover, you should notify your employer immediately to avoid timing issues. Failure to report an injury promptly may affect your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

2. Ask For Immediate Medical Treatment

Health should always be the priority. So, if you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident like at a construction site, visit a healthcare professional promptly to receive appropriate treatment. And getting yourself checked by a competent doctor can give you an official medical record of the injury and its severity. These reports are crucial for the success of your workers’ compensation claim since they can help prove that your injury resulted from a workplace accident.

On the other hand, you must know that the employer may have the right to designate the treating physician for work-related injuries in certain jurisdictions. Henceforth, confirm this detail with your employer first before seeking treatment independently.

middle aged worker in neck brace with broken arm sitting at table and talking to businessman in blue jacket in office, compensation concept

3. File A Workers’ Compensation Claim

Once the injury has been reported and medical treatment initiated, you should proceed to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It generally provides coverage for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.

Yet the compensation you get under your claim may depend on factors such as the extent of your injury and your average wages for the previous year. So, it’s best to seek legal assistance. For example, if you’re filing one in New York (NYC), work with a lawyer experienced in handling cases of workers compensation in NYC to ensure a more favorable outcome.

In addition, having a lawyer can help you deal with the filing process more efficiently. Since initiating a workers’ compensation claim involves completing specific forms provided by the employer, you need the expertise of a legal professional to help you accomplishing them. They can ensure all the documents contain detailed information about the employee, the nature and circumstances of the injury, and the treatment received.

4. Initiate A Personal Injury Claim

Aside from a workers’ compensation claim, you may file a personal injury claim to recover compensation after a workplace injury as well. This is especially true if you believe your employer or someone else’s negligence caused the accident and your injury.

For example, if you’ve been hurt in a slipping accident and there’s showing that your employer negligently failed to fix the uneven floor in the workplace. In that case, they may be held liable for your injuries.

And unlike the workers’ compensation claim, you can receive compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Yet before that, you still must prove the other party’s negligence with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

5. Keep Important Records

After the injury and throughout the claim process, diligent record-keeping is essential. If you’ve been injured at work, you should maintain a comprehensive file that includes any incident reports, medical bills, records of treatments, correspondence relating to the claim, and any other relevant documents.

6. Maintain Proper Communication

Even with a successfully filed claim, the process continues. You should maintain clear communication with your employer and the doctor throughout the recovery process.

Ensure to provide regular updates on the medical condition, the recovery progress, and any changes in employment status or ability. This can help ensure that the compensation benefits match the need and the realities of the worker’s situation.

Further, you should be aware of potential issues that could arise during this process. This might include a dispute of the claim by the employer or the insurance company, denial of necessary treatments, or premature pressure to return to work.

Conclusion

Claiming benefits after a workplace-related injury can be daunting, but understanding the information mentioned above can make it manageable. By knowing what to expect and taking proactive measures, you can secure the necessary benefits in time. This, in turn, allows you to focus on the most critical aspect – their recovery and well-being.

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