Even if you are extremely careful, there is always a chance you could suffer an injury at work. For example, an office worker could slip and fall on a piece of debris, thus resulting in a concussion or back injury. Or a construction worker could fall from height, breaking multiple bones upon hitting the ground below.
If you suffer any type of workplace injury, you should immediately take these steps:
- Stay where you are and call for help
- Report the injury to your supervisor or HR department
- Receive medical attention
- Follow the treatment schedule outlined by your medical team
- Get a better understanding of how long it will take to make a full recovery
If you are unable to return to work in the immediate future, you may want to file a workers' compensation claim. If approved, you will receive compensation until you can return to your job.
Since you may not have much experience with the workers' compensation system, here are some questions to address:
- Do you qualify for workers' compensation benefits? In short, if you are an employee with an on-the-job injury, there's a good chance you qualify for benefits.
- Can you receive workers' compensation benefits after returning to work? If you're still experiencing a wage loss as a result of your injury, you may be able to receive benefits (of a lesser amount) for the meantime.
- Is it possible to receive a denial letter? You hope that your claim receives immediate approval, but a denial is possible. This can happen as the result of many things, such as: not filing a claim on time, not reporting the injury to your company, not receiving medical attention or an employer that argues you were injured on your personal time (as opposed to at work).
- Are all injuries covered by the workers' compensation system? While most injuries are covered, this isn't the case across the board. For example, if you suffer an injury as the result of on-the-job intoxication, you may not qualify.
You never want to suffer any type of on-the-job injury, but if you do you should take the time to learn more about your legal rights. Protecting your financial situation with the help of the workers' compensation system is one of the best things you can do.