Getting injured at work is not as uncommon as many people think. The United States has a pretty high record of this. So, what can you do if you get injured at the workplace? Well, the good news is that you can file for a compensation claim where your company pays you an agreed amount based on the degree of injury and other important factors. However, the success of your claim depends on how well you’re able to follow the guidelines on this. Here’s how you can win your compensation claim after being injured at work.
How Do You Know Your Injury Qualifies for Compensation?
Contrary to some claims, not every injury got at the workplace qualifies for compensation. Some strict criteria would guarantee that your claim will be attended to and you will get the compensation you deserve. These are:
- You are legally employed by the company.
- You were not involved in any illegal activity that led to the injury
- You filed the compensation claim within the stipulated acceptance period
- You reported the injury immediately to your employer
If you were active in the line of duty and your injury claim falls within the criteria listed above, then you can proceed to make your claim. There’s also a high chance that you’ll get your total compensation. Here are the proper steps to take as soon as you experience a workplace injury.
1. Report the injury
As soon as you get injured, the first thing to do is report it to a superior, preferably your supervisor. Make sure that you do this before seeking treatment. While some states are okay with giving only verbal notices, you should make sure this is in writing to be on the safer side. Document your injuries, and this will serve as proof that you reported them promptly. An oral report can’t be tendered as evidence if there’s ever any dispute. Instead, it will be your word against theirs, and that reduces your chances of winning anything substantial.
2. Get a legal representative
You’re closer to the stage of filing your compensation claim and need all the legal help you can get. At this point, you should search for a competent lawyer who understands your predicament, whether you have an injured back or a broken finger, he or she needs to put your needs first. A credible lawyer won’t charge any fee until you win the compensation claim. This is not a process that should be rushed. So, interview as many lawyers as necessary until you find the one that ticks all your boxes.
3. Get treated
After making a formal report to your supervisor or any other relevant superior at your workplace, you can then get treated for your injuries. Usually, your employers will request that you get treated by the doctors recruited by the company. However, if you don’t agree to this, you can visit a doctor of your choice. You must have made this known in writing before getting injured. Your doctor will have to submit medical reports that give accurate answers to any questions that the compensation officials may have during their investigations. However, your employer reserves the right to get a second opinion from another doctor. In this case, the doctor doesn’t have to be certified by any board. You’re allowed to have your doctor present during the examination. Your employer will pay for all expenses incurred during the second examination.
4. Keep accurate documentation of the entire ordeal
We can’t overemphasize the importance of keeping records of every occurrence at every stage of your injury claim. Proper documentation eliminates the chances of altering history by any party involved. Keep a record of the written letter to your supervisor informing them of the injury, your medical reports, pictures of your injuries, and any other information you know could come in handy. These will also be useful in determining your compensation amount and be used as evidence if the case ends up in court.
5. File your compensation claim
Now, you can file your claim, which will qualify you for compensation. A competent lawyer will assist you at every step. They will ensure that all the needed documents are ready and you have witnesses who can add more credibility to your claims.
Work injuries happen more often than a lot of people care to admit. It is important that you know the steps to take if you are ever in this situation. Remember, if your compensation claim is not approved the first time, don’t fret. As long as you have a legitimate reason to request this, you can file an appeal and correct all the places you may have gone wrong the first time.