Every year, there are nearly three million non-fatal workplace accidents in the U.S. For this reason, it is required by state law that nearly every employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. If you are hurt at work, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. The following are some tips and things to keep in mind if you ever sustain an injury in the workplace.
File an Accident Report
It’s important that you report your accident or injury as soon as possible, as many states have only a short period of time in which you must report an accident to be covered by workers’ compensation. If you don’t realize that you have suffered an injury right away (many work-related injuries may take days or weeks to present themselves), you may encounter problems reporting it long after the event. For that reason, you should always report any accident that occurs on the job, even if you don’t believe that you are hurt. Additionally, reporting an accident, even if you haven’t sustained any injuries, may encourage your employer to implement new processes and safety procedures that will prevent further accidents from occurring to you or other employees in the future.
Seek Medical Attention
It’s important that you see a doctor as soon as you can after a workplace accident. If the injury is serious, of course, you should immediately go to the emergency room. If your injuries are not serious, you should check with your employer to see if there is a doctor that you are required to see, or if you can see you, regular doctor. If your employer asks you to see a specific doctor and you are not happy with the first visit, you should see your own doctor. In fact, even if you see the doctor that is specified by your employer and have no complaints, you should still make a visit to your regular doctor for a second opinion. Workers’ compensation may or may not cover the second opinion, but it may turn out to be worth it to pay for it yourself. If you have serious or long-lasting injuries, what you pay for a second opinion may be far outweighed by the benefits you receive for your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Laws Provide Coverage But Prohibit Lawsuits
In every state except Texas, the law requires that nearly all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. In return, the laws also include provisions that employees cannot sue employers for work-related injuries (with some exceptions). To file a workers’ compensation claim, workers do not have to prove that their employers’ negligence resulted in their injuries; they can be compensated for injuries even if they are at fault themselves. There are some exceptions to this. For example, if an employee is found to be using drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, then his or her injury will not be covered by workers’ compensation. Due to that, many employers require that employees are drug tested whenever there is an injury reported.
Report Injuries – Even If It’s After the Fact
After you report an accident or injury to your employer, it is their responsibility to file a workers’ compensation claim for you. Your employer cannot do this until they know that you are injured. If you submitted an accident report but didn’t realize at the time that you were injured, it’s crucial that you let your employer know about your injury as soon as you discover it. It is also important that you make sure that your employer files a workers’ compensation claim, and that you obtain a copy of it for your records.
See a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workplace accidents and workers’ compensation benefits may seem pretty cut and dried, there are situations in which they can become complicated. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to have your case reviewed. Your claim may be one of the rare cases in which you are entitled to additional compensation for the injuries you sustained.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need a lawyer who is knowledgeable about workers’ compensation cases to help you with your case. Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation lawyer, Rand Spear, will review your case for free and let you know the best way to proceed.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved. This article is not to be considered advise, only the execution of the contingency agreement with this law firm will constitute an attorney-client relationship. The contents of this article are for general information only. If you would like to pursue a claim please contact an attorney immediately to discuss your specific facts and circumstances regarding your claim. Some cases accepted by this law firm may be referred to or worked on by other lawyers, depending on the area of practice and specifics of a particular case.