An injury on the job is the source of a lot of unexpected stress – missing work, getting treatment, dealing with pain, and recovery time are just a few of the stresses you will be dealing with. You can lighten this burden by making sure you address the injury correctly so that your chances of a workers’ compensation claim aren’t compromised. The following tips can help walk you through the first few days after your injury.
Tip #1: Report the Injury
Every workplace has reporting procedures in place, which you can determine by contacting human resources. Whether it is an acute injury, such as you dislocated a shoulder while stacking boxes, or a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel, you will need to report it following the proper channels as soon as you are aware that it occurred. Failure to report in a timely manner can compromise your case. If you aren’t aware of the severity of the injury until after you leave work for the evening, report it first thing the following business day.
Tip #2: Get Copies
For injuries on the job due to an accident, you should have a copy of the accident report signed by your supervisor. If for some reason human resources or your supervisor refuses to give you a copy or to sign the report, then you will need to write up your own details of how and when the accident occurred. Keep the original and give a copy to the supervisor or human resources department.
Tip #3: Get Immediate Medical Care
Depending on your state’s laws, you may be required to get care from a doctor chosen by your employer. If this is the case, do not see your personal physician first. In the case of repetitive stress injuries, your personal doctor may be the first to notice the condition. In this case, file a report and get referred to company doctor as soon as possible after your doctor’s initial diagnosis. Keep copies of all medical visits and diagnoses.
Tip #4: Get Tests and Treatments – No Matter What
It’s important that you follow through on all prescribed tests and treatments. This is especially true if you are fired or let go after coming forward with your injury. Every test that shows your injury is proof that your injury exists and that it occurred in the time period while you were still working. When you win your claim, these medical bills will be paid. Do not put off getting tests because of cost, since this can make it impossible to prove your injury.
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