Medical costs can be sky-high but you should not need to pay out of your own pocket if your injury is work-related. It is really your employer that is paying for these benefits via the insurance premiums they make on your behalf and you are also entitled to a partial amount of your usual salary in addition to the medical expenses. You cannot get any of these valuable perks unless you take the correct actions, so read on to learn more.
Seek Medical Care
Your first order of business should be self-care, not only for your health but to ensure that your injury is covered by workers' comp. Your initial visit should be to the closest and most convenient location, but your subsequent medical care might have to take place at an alternate approved source.
Should you believe your injury is too minor to warrant a trip to the urgent care, emergency room, or doctor's office then you might not be entitled to workers' comp coverage. Minor accidents like cuts and abrasions that can be treated with the contents of most workplace first-aid kits are probably too minor for insurance coverage. If your injury worsens later be sure to follow up with medical care and a claim.
Inform Your Supervisor
Your next order of business is to let your supervisor in on your medical issue. They may already know about it, but a notification from you will start the ball rolling on the workers' comp claim form. In some states, the form is completed by both you and your supervisor, but no matter what, you will probably need to sign the form to indicate your agreement with the facts therein.
Here is where you must be very careful since mistakes with details on the claim could delay or even cause a denial of benefits. Read over the report and have corrections made in regard to the chain of events, the time and date, witnesses and everything else on the document.
Seek Legal Help If Needed
There are some work-related injuries that can make it more likely that a claim will be held up, denied, or require legal representation for you. For example, a very serious and potentially permanent injury could mean that you will be offered a lump sum settlement. Needless to say, not being able to work at your job means that you are owed a great deal of money and you will need someone familiar with what you are entitled to get to negotiate on your behalf.
Speak to a workers' comp attorney if your claim is not proceeding smoothly or if you have a more serious injury.