Getting injured at work occurs more frequently than you may think. A workplace injury can affect your ability to work and can have a lasting impact on your health. However, if you do sustain a workplace injury, you may be entitled to receive workers' compensation.
The actions you take during the workers’ compensation claims process can affect whether or not you obtain the compensation you deserve. This is why it is essential to understand what you should and should not do after being injured at work.
Report Your Injury at Work
You should report your injury at work as soon as possible and within the required period. If you do not report your work-related injury timely, you may be ineligible to receive workers’ compensation.
Make Sure Your Injury Description is Correct on All Documentation
Any discrepancies regarding the injury description on any of the many forms related to the workplace incident can impact your workers’ compensation benefits amount. The insurance company may downplay the severity of a workplace injury in order to lower the benefits amount. Carefully examine all documents related to your injury.
Make Sure Your Wages are Calculated Properly
A miscalculation of the wages you were earning when you were injured can result in an underpayment of workers’ compensation benefits. Double-check the calculations made by the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
Choose Your Own Doctors
Your employer may provide you with a list of healthcare professionals. However, you have the right to choose which doctor can examine you for the initial treatment after your workplace injury has occurred and for any other subsequent medical appointments related to the injury.
Be Prepared for an IME
An IME, or independent medical exam, is an examination you will have to undergo with a doctor who is selected and compensated by the insurance company. It is often requested if there are doubts about your treatment, your doctor or the work restrictions that have been recommended for you. Obtain copies of any reports issued from the IME and ensure that they are the same that were received by the insurance company.
Document Everything Well and Keep Good Records
Documentation should begin the moment your injury occurs. This includes noting the severity and time of the injury, taking photographs, keeping records or medical appointments and treatments, noting with whom and about what you have had conversations and making copies of forms received and completed. You want to have this information readily available if there is an issue with your benefits claim.
Don't Panic, Delay Reporting, Be Embarrassed or Pretend You Aren't Injured
You can invalidate your workers’ compensation claim if you pretend not to be injured or delay reporting due to embarrassment or panic. It can also result in a worsened injury.
At PrimeCare Urgent Care, we can help you with work-related injuries, occupational medicine, and workers' comp treatments. Please seek medical treatment right away if you are injured at work.