What If I’m Injured At Work?
Most companies have safe practices and other programs designed to avoid employer or employee injuries in the workplace. These programs also save the company money that could have been used for medical treatment of injured employees. But even with these programs some people still get hurt on the job. You should report an injury the moment you get injured on the job and then seek medical attention. Hire an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer to advise you if you are denied your worker’s compensation benefits.
Why Report The Injury?
Reporting the injury seems like an obvious thing to do, but the truth is that not all people report their injuries. Some people take a wait-and-see approach when the injury does not seem serious. But waiting to report can make a serious injury worse and may harm your ability to get compensation for that injury. For example, a back or knee injury may not feel severe at the moment you get injured, but could starting feeling worse the next morning.
The worker’s compensation insurance carrier might question why you took so long to report your injury. In most cases, the insurer and the employer may allege that you delayed reporting you injury because the injury was not as serious as you claim, or that the accident never occurred. Your employer can actually refuse to compensate you in this situation. Some companies require employees to report injuries within 24 hours of an incident. You should know that your private health insurance will not pay for injuries you suffer on the job.
Should You See Your Own Doctor?
After reporting the injury to your supervisor, request medical treatment immediately. Then file a claim for worker’s compensation as soon as possible. Some employers will refer injured employees to doctors that the employers have recruited and paid for. In such a situation, the employee has to go to the recruited doctor.
You may also be able to bring your own doctor during an examination done by the doctor your employer recruited. Make sure you clearly describe your injuries to the doctor examining you and follow all the instructions the doctor gives you. Keep all the medical documentation you get including prescriptions, bills and more. These documents can help you calculate the costs you incurred while receiving treatment. In New Jersey, all medical costs including fees for physical therapy and ongoing rehabilitation are covered by New Jersey worker’s compensation.
Filing A Claim
You need to file a claim with the worker’s compensation court. A workers compensation claim is not a lawsuit but rather a request for benefits. Your employer will provide you with a claim form after you notify the employer of your injury. Make sure you sign and date the claim form and keep a copy of the completed form for your records. Then return the completed form to your employer through mail or through hand delivery. Filing soon after the accident will prevent you having to experience delays in receiving your benefits.
You may also be interested in…
- Verbal Threshold In New Jersey
- New Jersey Statute Of Limitations For Personal Injury
- When To Hire A Car Accident Attorney