Whether you work in an office job or a hazardous industry, such as construction, there is always a possibility that you could be injured at work. While no one wants to get hurt, you have every right to seek workers' compensation benefits if an accident does occur.
Time is of the essence. If you wait too long to report the injury, you could lose your right to workers' comp. Here are 4 steps to take if you get hurt at work:
1. Report the injury within 30 days.
Employees must give their employer a written notice of the injury within 30 days of the accident. If you fail to do this, you will not be able to seek workers' comp later.
You should create this written notice as soon as you are able. Details may fade from your memory over time. It is also be wise to immediately write down the date, time and what happened so that you can keep facts consistent when explaining your injury.
You should tell your supervisor orally when the accident occurs, but do not forget to give an official written notice too.
2. Keep medical records.
If you are injured, you will probably want to visit a doctor. Record what days and times you go to the doctor's office. Keep any medical records from your visits or doctor's notes about your condition. These can help you prove your case later if you pursue workers' compensation.
3. Consult an attorney about your situation.
In many circumstances, you are eligible for compensation when injured at work. An experienced attorney can help you understand and work through the workers' comp process, answer any questions and represent you in the case if need be. They can also help you appeal if your claim is denied.
4. Fill out Board Form C-3.
Board Form C-3 is a document claiming compensation for your workplace injuries. If you would like to pursue workers' comp, you must send in this form within 2 years of your injury.
The form will ask about when and how your injury occurred, so that is another reason that writing down details after you are injured is important.
The workers' comp process may seem daunting or confusing, but do not hesitate to ask an attorney for legal guidance. You have the right to seek compensation if you were injured at work and you should not lose that opportunity because you missed a deadline or did not understand the process.