Although most workplaces are fairly safe, some lines of workplace employees in a continual state of risk. Whether you work a job that’s prone to accidents or simply suffered an injury at your desk job, you have a right to compensation for your time and medical bills. Keep reading to learn how to get the benefits that you deserve.
Seek Medical Care
If you have suffered an accident at work, the first thing that you should do is seek medical attention. Your health should be the most important concern. In addition, failing to seek appropriate medical attention may actually make you ineligible to file for workers’ compensation. Take care of yourself and defend your interests by heading to the hospital immediately after you are injured.
Make Sure That You’re a Covered Employee
Not all workers are eligible for workers’ compensation. If you are a normal employee on a company payroll, you are most likely covered by the company’s health insurance policy. However, if you are a freelancer or an independent contractor, you may be responsible for your own medical care.
Your legal and medical responsibilities should have been outlined in your employment contract. If you aren’t sure, simply contact a lawyer who specialized in workers’ compensation claims.
File an Official Claim
After you have sought appropriate medical attention, your next step should be to file an official claim. Your employer should have a form for you to fill out. Otherwise, you can request one from your state government.
Your official claim form will require you to provide information like the nature of the accident, the time and location when it occurred, and the extent of the damage. You will also need to outline the medical treatment that you have received so far.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Even if you have a great relationship with your employer, you should still contact a workers’ compensation lawyer during the claim process. A lawyer will be able to make sure that you fill out the claim form correctly; they will also offer assistance if your claim is not properly processed by your employer or their insurance agency.
It’s important to recognize that even if your employer wants to cover your medical expenses, their health insurance agency may attempt to decrease the benefits that you receive. Working with legal representation is the easiest way to ensure that you receive the full amount that you are entitled to.
Remember to take care of yourself immediately after a work accident. Your health will directly impact your ability to work in the future. Take time off, follow up with your claim, and return yourself to a good working condition.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.