Workers’ compensation benefits have long been a point of confusion for many workers in the nation. The rules and regulations seem to be as cryptic as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and not every employer follows the rules, further complicating things.
It is best that you be accountable for your own realm of knowledge, and learn as much as possible about the workers’ compensation laws in your state. Here are a few general rules of thumb to remember if you find yourself injured on the job.
Report every illness or injury
The rules of workers’ compensation vary from state to state. The most important thing to remember is that there is a time limitation for reporting an injury or illness. Report problems as soon as they arise to the human resources department of your company.
You should receive an incident report. Fill it out thoroughly, and wait for a reply about your claim from your employer’s insurance provider.
If you do not receive a reply concerning your claim within the first week, then there is probably something wrong. It may be helpful to contact a lawyer for assistance with your claim. Make sure you contact a law professional in your state.
For example, if you live (and were injured) working for a company in North Carolina, a law firm like Teddy, Meekins, & Talbert would be a legit choice of representation in your workers’ comp case. Your legal representation should practice in the same state as your claim.
Visit the appropriate medical providers
Depending on your employer’s compensation coverage, you may need to see a specific medical provider to be eligible for financial compensation. If you have an emergency situation, make sure to document everything possible while you are being treated (and after).
Communicate that your injury occurred at work
No matter where you go for treatment, it is vital that you clearly communicate to healthcare providers that your injury occurred while you were at work. The documentation process is much different for an on-the-job injury than it is for a non-business related injury or illness.
The documentation provided for on-the-job injuries will begin the process of working through your workers’ compensation claim. The hospital/health care provider will contact your company’s insurance company for payment of the charges accrued.
Talk to your employer about their workers’ comp coverage
Before anyone ever gets hurt, it is best that you keep an opened line of communication with your employer concerning their workers’ comp coverage. If you are working for an employer that will not cover you in the case of an injury, then you should know. Workers should be fully informed as to their employer’s ability to protect them.