You most likely spend a good amount of time at your place of employment, so it is easy to see why so many injuries seem to occur in the workplace. The National Security Council reports that an employee is injured on the job every 7 seconds.
No matter if your injury has caused you temporary pain and financial distress or a permanent loss of your ability to work, laws are in place to ensure you receive proper medical care and compensation for your injury. If you were recently injured on the job, here are a few essential steps to take to protect yourself and your financial well-being.
1. Report the Injury to Your Employer
If at all possible, you should report the injury to your employer immediately. Unfortunately, some injuries can leave you physically and emotionally overwhelmed to the point where you are unable to notify your employer. In these instances, the key thing you need to do is notify your employer within a specific period of time.
Each state has their own regulations on how long you have to report the injury to your employer. In some states, workers have 30 days. In Michigan, however, you have 90 days. Even though you do have time, you should report the injury to your employer immediately to help reduce the stress of receiving your worker's compensation benefits.
2. Seek Medical Care
Some injuries will require immediate care, while others can be evaluated by a doctor in a non-emergency situation. Either way, you must seek medical care as soon as possible to determine how severe your injury is and to receive efficient treatment. Professionals often recommend going to the hospital or an urgent care facility after an accident.
It is important to note that your employer may designate who provides your medical care within the first 28 days of reporting the injury. Many employers prefer to designate the medical provider, since this allows them to track your injury, treatment, and recovery. Whether you see a physician at a hospital, your employer's medical provider, or your own primary care physician, make sure they understand your injury occurred in the workplace.
Whoever you see, you should be open and honest during your medical evaluation, since this information will be essential when filing a worker's compensation claim for benefits. Also, describe your symptoms in detail and include any information on how the injury occurred.
Finally, you must follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment to ensure a full recovery. If your doctor places restrictions on how you live and work, provide your employer with a report of these restrictions as soon as possible.
3. Track Your Expenses
Depending on the extent of your injury and the care that is necessary for your recovery, you will most likely have a large amount of expenses. Some expenses may need to be paid out of your own pocket, so keeping a detailed record of all your expenses related to the workplace injury is imperative.
You should document all hospital bills, doctor appointments, prescriptions, tests/scans, different medical supplies, physical therapy, and even transportation costs to and from your various appointments. Your record should also include any time you lost at work because of your injury.
4. Consult an Attorney
Finally, you need to schedule a consultation with an attorney who understands worker's compensation law. Provide your attorney with medical records and a list of all of your expenses and time lost at work.
Your attorney will work on your behalf to fight for compensation that is adequately proportioned to your injuries.
Many people feel hiring an attorney is unnecessary and costly. However, recent reports showed that injured workers who hired attorneys received higher settlements compared to injured workers who did not utilize professional legal help.
If you were injured on the job, do not wait to take action. Contact O'Grady & O'Neil PC today for assistance with your workplace injury.