Millions of Americans are injured at work every year. Employers notoriously underreport these accidents at work. In 2008, 4.6 million workers suffered work-related illnesses or injuries, according to the AFL-CIO. But the true figure is estimated to be at least two to three times as much. Why is this?
Generally, if an employee is injured on the job, their boss is expected to cover all medical expenses. To do this, they must claim damage from their insurance company, which can lead to higher insurance premiums in the future. As a result, bosses often discourage workers from reporting their injuries. Many subordinates agree out of loyalty to their employers, but regret the decision almost immediately.
What to do?
Always first inform your manager, Human Resources and your union representative (if you have one) whenever an injury or illness occurs. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get the treatment and benefits you are entitled to. If your manager asks you not to report the incident, let them know that you simply want to follow the established procedure.
This process begins with the Employee’s Claim for Workplace Injury Benefits form, which must be completed and returned to your manager as soon as possible after the accident. Make sure you get a copy of the report and that it includes any information that might strengthen your entitlement to benefits, such as: B. the names of employees who may have witnessed the incident.
In addition to medical care, an injured employee may be eligible for temporary or permanent disability assistance and occupational rehabilitation, all of which are carefully considered before being denied or approved. If your right to one of these benefits is denied, you can appeal the decision in court. At this point, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a worker’s compensation attorney.
How can you help?
The most common reason for denial of claims for damages is that they are not submitted on time. New laws have shortened many deadlines, and workers who do not make a claim shortly after their work-related injury may not be entitled to compensation. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney knows the laws regarding coverage in your state and can file a claim on your behalf.
What will they need from you?
The first thing a legal counsel will request is a copy of the Employee’s Claim for Industrial Injury Benefits form. He or she will also ask you for an accurate record of your injury or illness, including days missed, dates of medical treatment, miles traveled or expenses incurred for medical treatment, and any medical and prescription expenses. The more accurate your records are, the stronger your case will be.
Before the law firm accepts your case, lawyers will review all the facts of your work injury. Be aware that filing a false claim is a felony, a felony in some states. The injury must have occurred at work. Worsening of an old or pre-existing condition may not entitle you to disability, disability, or vocational rehabilitation. However, if you get injured at work, it’s important to follow the right steps. Early missteps can result in being denied the treatment and support to which you are legally entitled.