Have you or a loved one been injured at work? If you are unsure what to do, don’t worry; you are not alone. Most people who sustain a work-related injury aren’t sure how to initiate workers’ compensation and are left wondering, “What are my rights if I’ve been injured at work?”
Although the details differ from state-to-state, all states require businesses to hold workers’ compensation insurance. Almost all states permit employees to recover damages if their employer directly harms them. If you’ve been injured at work and you’re a W-2 employee, you qualify for workers’ comp and are entitled to certain benefits. It doesn’t matter what type of injury you’ve sustained, whether it’s mental or physical (learn more about how these differ). It’s essential that you know your rights and what steps you can take to get the care you need.
What Constitutes a Work Injury?
Millions of workplace injuries and illnesses are reported every year in the United States. According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, back injuries make up almost 40% of all physical work-related injuries. Although back injuries make up a large percentage of documented injuries, numerous other injuries are registered with various causes. Some of the most common causes of work injuries include:
- Slip and fall
- Being hit by moving objects
- Falling against stationary objects
- Repetitive motion injuries
In addition to those listed, there are many other common work-related injuries and causes. Although employers are supposed to work with their employees to file a workers’ comp claim and help them through the process, this doesn’t always happen. If you’ve been injured at work and you don’t know how to access work injury compensation, you may have to figure it out for yourself. Fortunately, with the right advice, the process can be quite straightforward.
5 Simple Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured on the Job
If you need help reporting an injury at work, follow these five simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to receiving the care and compensation that you deserve and are entitled to.
Report the Injury
Reporting the injury as soon as you possibly can is essential. Oftentimes, employers and insurance companies can deny claims if the harm wasn’t declared right away. In fact, if an employee is injured and fails to notify their employer in writing within thirty days of the accident, they can lose their right to workers’ compensation benefits.
While an employer may not be able to deny your claim, in the end, it doesn’t mean they won’t try to fight it and make the process very difficult for you if you wait too long to disclose the incident.
Inform Your Healthcare Provider That the Injury is Work-Related
The first time you seek medical care, make sure you tell your doctor that the injury happened at work and that the doctor records this information in their medical notes. When insurance companies look into your claim and the medical notes from your doctor, they’ll try to deny you if the first medical note doesn’t mention that the injury occurred at work.
It’s also essential that you follow your doctor’s recovery instructions closely. Adhere to all of the medical and procedural guidelines so that you don’t leave any room for the insurance company to deny your claim.
Provide Your Employer With a Written Notice
In the state of Minnesota, if an employee has been injured, they’re required to give their employer a written notice of their injury within fourteen days of the incident. If the employer has actual knowledge of the event, the employee doesn’t need to provide a notice. Once the employer has been made aware of the matter, they have eight days to file an Employer’s First Report of Injury (Form-001).
Navigating these forms and bureaucratic processes can be complicated and confusing. If you’re unsure of anything, don’t guess. Call a law firm that offers free consultations like Mottaz & Sisk.
Record All Missed Days of Work, Travel, and Out-of-Pocket Expenses
According to the MN Department of Labor and Industry, it is essential that you record all of your missed days of work, travel, and out-of-pocket expenses. There is always a waiting period before any benefits can take effect. You may be eligible to receive compensation for missed wages or other costs that took place during the waiting period, but only if you keep detailed records of these things.
Even if you don’t miss work after your injury, you may still be entitled to medical or rehabilitation benefits.
Find a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Finding a work injury attorney can be a defining factor of your workers’ compensation claim’s success or failure. The filing process can be confusing and stressful as you navigate the required paperwork and provide insurance companies with recorded statements.
Adjusters are trained to record your statement and potentially use it against you in your claim, which is why it is crucial that you contact a work injury attorney. A quality personal injury attorney will help you successfully navigate the workers’ compensation process. For assistance, use our guide to choosing the right personal injury lawyer.
Do You Need a Work Injury Lawyer?
Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies often search for ways to get out of supplying injured employees with workers’ comp benefits. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, don’t muddle through the claim-filing process without a workers’ comp attorney. Otherwise, you might miss out on the benefits you deserve.
At Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law, we pride ourselves on being the best personal injury law firm around. We provide our clients with excellent customer service and maintain open and ongoing communication, so they can focus on recovery while we focus on securing the benefits they deserve. Visit our website to schedule a free consultation today.