Now and then, people get injured at the workplace. Knowing what to do when this happens can make sure you get the necessary medical attention as well as the compensation due for workplace injuries. If you find yourself ill or having sustained an injury while undertaking your assigned tasks at work, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Inform your supervisor
Employees are advised to inform their supervisors about a workplace injury as soon as it occurs. Sometimes, especially during serious injuries you may be unable to do so as soon as the injury takes place. All the same, you should talk to your supervisor about the injury the soonest possible. Make sure your illness or injury has been recorded at the HR department of the company you work for. If you fail to inform your employer in writing within a period of 30 days since the day you got injured, you may lose your right to get workers’ compensation benefits.
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Get first aid and other medical treatment necessary
As soon as you get injured, find help. Make haste to get first aid and other medical treatment. Make sure the health care provider you will go to for medical help is allowed to give treatment by the Workers’ Compensation Board. There can, however, be exceptions to this requirement in the event of an emergency. It may be necessary for employees working for a company that participates in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) to get medical attention from a health care provider that is part of these programs. Give copies of all receipts and bills you obtain during your trip to the doctor to your employer. Keep the originals.
If your employer is part of such a program, they are supposed to inform you as their employee. If your treatment will involve prescription drugs or diagnostic tests, your employer may insist that your tests or prescriptions be done by a health care provider who is part of ADR or PPO or take the medicine from participating pharmacies. Your employer should do due diligence to inform you of these requirements in writing.
File a workers’ compensation claim
The process of filing this claim is the same as filing other insurance claims. Don’t be afraid to do this. You are not suing your employer; you are simply requesting to receive the benefits due you because of the workplace injury you sustained.
Your employer’s insurance provider or the employer themselves will pay for all the costs you will incur while seeking treatment for a workplace injury if your employer does not raise any dispute regarding the injury. While seeking treatment, the health care provider may bring you a form A-9 (PDF) for you to sign. This form is a formal notice to you, the injured employee that you may have to pay the bills you will incur if you fail to pursue your claim or if your claim is disallowed by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Your employer’s insurance carrier might become suspicious of your accident and subsequent injury. In such instances, the insurance company usually sends an investigator to take a recorded or written statement from you. Avoid making these statements because it is very likely that the insurance carrier will use it pin you down sometime down the road. From the date you file your claim, your employer’s insurance provider will have fourteen days within which to investigate and make a decision on whether or not your claim is valid.
Do your best to return to work as soon as possible. All the same, if your wellbeing dictates that you stay at home and your doctor has said as much, it may be wise that you stay at home until you are fit to return to work. The workers’ compensation law is your protection. It gives you the right to file a compensation claim.