The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that more than two million workplace injuries took place in the US last year.
If you were also recently injured at work, then it’s time to make sure you are compensated for your expenses.
Consider these five steps to take after a workplace injury. Then you’ll be able to anticipate what comes next through this process.
What is Injury Law?
Injury law is the field of law that lets injured people file civil lawsuits in court to collect compensation for their damages that came from an accident.
This field of law is also called “tort” law. It’s intended to let injured persons be “made whole” after they have suffered any harm due to someone else’s intentional conduct or negligence.
In the workplace, injured employees can use the worker’s compensation process to collect damages from their employer.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation guarantees that a worker hurt on the job site will receive compensation to help them pay for their medical expenses to address their work-site injuries.
Workers’ Compensation is in place to help employees avoid legal action against employers to recover their medical expenses.
Filing a Workplace Injury Claim
Every state has its own group of procedures to file a workplace injury claim. However, each state’s process contains a common form of these five, vital customary steps:
1. Report the Injury to Your Boss
Be sure you notify your boss that your injury took place. This alert can be done orally or in writing. Make sure you find out if your workplace has any special protocols in place to report injuries that take place on the job.
Texas personal injury laws include a statutory deadline after your accident that you have to notify your employer that you were hurt on the job.
You should report your injuries within 30 days after you become aware of your worksite injuries. If you don’t file a claim within this time, your request may be denied.
2. Seek Medical Attention as Soon as You Can
Consult a doctor as soon as possible after your worksite injury. You’ll need a medical evaluation so that your injuries can be diagnosed correctly and treated right away.
Ask your physician to include any specific information they think is necessary that will demonstrate that your accident is directly for your injuries.
3. Collect Materials from Your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Provider
Once you’ve alerted your employer of your injuries, they can mail you a copy of a document called a First Report of Illness or Injury.
This report is also sent to their insurance provider. Some employers might also send over resource materials that contain information on worksite injury rights.
Injured employees may start to receive reimbursements within 21 days after their reported injury if they are considered eligible to receive these benefits. Most times, these reimbursement payments are sent every two weeks.
4. Consider Dispute Resolution Before Filing Your Personal Injury Claim
If you do not receive reimbursement or any notification from the employer’s insurance provider, then you should notify your employers.
If you have any disagreements with your employer directly or their insurance carrier on their proposal for compensation, try to resolve your dispute with them first.
5. Call an Injury Law Attorney
If your efforts to resolve your disagreement fail, then your next task is to file a formal workers’ compensation petition.
A personal injury lawyer can help you through this process. These professionals are also sometimes called a personal injury attorney or an accident lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer represents an injured victim who needs help demonstrating that their accident took place while they were on the job.
A personal injury lawyer can assist a client with their negotiations between the employer’s insurance providers. They will also help show you how to file your workers’ compensation claim.
Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Injured employees have thirty roughly (30) days from their accident or thirty (30) days from their physician’s official diagnosis that they are suffering from work-related injuries to alert their employer that they plan to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Sometimes, an employer might hand you all of the official forms you need to turn in a claim. Other times, an employer might submit your claim for you to their insurance provider.
When you have these necessary forms, make sure that you include these details regarding your workplace accident:
- Location, time, and day when your injuries took place
- Types of injuries or damaged areas on your body
- How you think the accident occurred
- The names of other witnesses also involved in your injuries and
- Any medical treatment you’ve received to date.
After your claim is reviewed, a representative from your employer’s insurance provider will contact you to let you know if your request is approved and for what amounts.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Review Process
Employers have seven (7) days from the time their employee notifies them of their injuries, to connect with their insurance carrier.
If employers don’t report an employee’s injury, that employee can contact the employer’s insurance company themselves. The insurance carrier then decides if that employee is eligible to receive compensation.
What Are Your Next Steps In The Process?
Are you ready to recover from your workplace injuries? If so, then your first task is to set up an appointment with your doctor to collect their professional opinion on your injuries.
Ask your doctor if there is any ongoing treatment plan you’ll need to fully recover. Once you have this information, sit down with your employer to strategize what a return-to-work schedule could be and what benefits you will qualify for until you come back.
Check our website for more advice on how to prepare for a consultation with an injury law professional. You can call us for a consultation for free! We’re the personal injury lawyer you can count on.