Despite our best efforts, accidents occur daily. Injuries on the job are especially common and can have a negative effect on your finances and personal life. In fact, approximately 3.2 million people were injured on the job in 2020, and the associated costs ranged from $176 billion to $352 billion.
The Definition of a Workplace Injury
A workplace injury is an injury sustained during the workday or as a result of repetitive actions. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome may be considered a work-related injury if it is caused by repetitive typing.
Back pain can also be caused by lifting heavy boxes at work. Consider a workplace injury as something that qualifies you for worker’s compensation.
Steps to Take If You’ve Been Hurt at Work
Now that you have a better understanding of what constitutes a workplace injury, let’s discuss what you should do if you are injured on the job. Depending on the nature of the injury, the specific steps to take following a workplace injury may vary, but the following are general guidelines:
- Seek medical care.
- Your health should be a top priority, so regardless of the severity of the injury, you should seek medical attention and explain to your doctor how you sustained it for documentation purposes.
- Make copies of your documents:
- These copies contain receipts for medical records, x-rays, consultations, and photographs of the accident scene.
- In addition, collect witness testimony, employment history, income history, and worker’s compensation reports.
- Inform your employer of what occurred:
- Report your workplace injury in writing to your employer within 30 days.
- While verbal communication is an option, you should always put something in writing to confirm that you have informed your employer and reduce the risk of not having evidence when filing a claim for compensation.
- Complete the forms for worker’s compensation:
- Complete the injury/illness claim forms as required by state law.
- For instance, in New York, you must submit the C-3 forms available on the website of the New York state worker’s compensation board.
- Learn the worker compensation system and your rights in your state.
DO NOT sign any documents or paperwork with your employer until you are aware of their consequences and have sought legal counsel from an experienced work accident attorney.
Understanding Worker’s Compensation Benefits
Worker’s compensation is a commercial insurance policy offered by the federal government that protects employers from liability and compensates workers injured on the job without requiring proof of employer or third-party fault.
This programme offers the following medical advantages:
- This compensation serves as wage replacement while the employee recovers from temporary disability.
- Permanent disability: This compensation is based on the employee’s future loss of earning capacity due to a permanent injury.
- This refers to the reimbursement of medical expenses incurred as a result of the employee’s injuries.
- Job retraining voucher: This is a non-transferable voucher to help an employee re-enter the workforce after a workplace injury prevents them from returning to their previous position.
The following injuries do not qualify for worker’s compensation:
- You acquired outside of employment
- Those that you inflicted on yourself
- Injuries sustained during a workplace altercation
- Accidents involving violations of business safety policies
- Injuries sustained while committing a crime
These are only a few examples. There are additional exceptions and subtleties to workers’ compensation, but an attorney can help you navigate each one.
How a Work Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you believe you may be eligible for workers’ compensation due to a work-related injury, you can complete the necessary paperwork yourself. However, a personal injury attorney can assist you in completing the necessary paperwork for a workplace injury claim and ensure that it is correctly filled out. They can also assist:
- Object to the denial of your insurance claims.
- Discuss possible legal options
- Calculate your advantages
- Discuss with the insurance provider.
Plus much more
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered what constitutes a workplace injury, injuries that may be ineligible for compensation, and how an attorney can assist, let’s examine some frequently asked questions.
Employers, agricultural workers, business partners, sole proprietors, and independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
If your employer lacks worker’s compensation insurance, you should contact your state’s labour department or worker’s compensation office and speak with an experienced workplace accident attorney who can advise you on how to file a claim.
Yes, there is a time limit for reporting workplace injuries and filing insurance claims. In New York, you generally have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit and ten days to notify your employer of your injury.
In the majority of U.S. states, the employer/insurer has the right to choose which medical provider the employee can see, thereby limiting the employee’s use of his or her physician and the employer’s liability. However, if you are a federal employee, the Federal Employee Compensation Act allows you to choose your doctor initially.
An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of workplace injuries and what to do if you are injured on the job. You can file for worker’s compensation on your own, but an experienced personal injury attorney can make the process easier.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.