Oftentimes workers are confused about what they need to do after an injury at work. There is no exact playbook because every injury and employer is different, but there are some general tips to consider after a work injury that can put you in the best position to get a fair workers’ compensation deal and get back to work. Today, we take a look at seven tips you should keep in mind after a work injury that can streamline the workers’ compensation process and ensure you’re treated fairly.
Inform Your Employer
The first thing you’ll have to do after a work injury is to inform your employer. They’ll take down information about the accident, including how it happened and if there were any witnesses. This is the first step in getting compensation for your work injury.
Hire an Attorney
Some people incorrectly think that they only need an attorney if they are in trouble, but a workers’ compensation attorney is simply an ally to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to. The world of workers’ compensation is complex and confusing, and missing a deadline can result in the forfeiture of your benefits. Let a workers’ compensation attorney help you get what you deserve.
Get copies of everything related to your workers’ compensation case. Get copies of medical exams, injury reports from your employer, related forms and benefit checks. If it pertains to your case, get a copy of it and make sure your workers’ compensation attorney sees it.
You’ll want to document visits and expenses related to your work injury as well. Document medical costs, parking expenses, miles traveled to and from physical therapy appointments, etc. Similar to the above point, if it pertains to your case, keep a log of it so you can reference it or be reimbursed for your efforts.
Keep Your Employer Updated
The ultimate goal is for you to return to your previous position, even if that comes with some modifications, so the best way to ensure a smooth transition back into the workforce is to keep your employer updated with your progress and your recovery plans. Don’t keep your employer in the dark, although you should consult with your attorney as there may be some specific aspects of your case that you don’t want revealed until a later date.
Do Not Lie
Whether it is to your employer or your workers’ compensation attorney, do not lie about your case. As we mentioned in a previous post, you are still entitled to benefits if you were at fault for your injury, so don’t think you need to lie about the accident in order to get compensation benefits. Lying is one of the quickest way to tank your case. Always be honest, especially with your workers’ compensation lawyer.
Unfortunately a small minority of people view their injury as a way to have an income without working. The problem is that many workers’ compensation benefits only pay a fraction of your salary and they end after a certain number of weeks. If you don’t work hard in your therapy sessions or to find suitable employment, you can be ill-equipped to re-enter the workforce or even perform daily living tasks when your benefits end. Workers’ compensation is meant to be a crutch to lean on while you recover, not a “get-out-of-work-forever” card. Put in the work during your rehab sessions, or you may end up in a worse situation down the road.
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