Workers’ Compensation: 5 Things You Should Do If You Get Hurt At Work
Written by Cooper and Friedman on March 7, 2018
Workers’ compensation provides workers (or their dependents) benefits after a work-related injury or disease. These benefits may include replacing lost wages, costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation costs, and other potential compensation for things such as transportation or emotional distress. Laws regarding workers’ compensation vary from state to state, though federal employees are protected by the Workers’ Compensation Act of 1908.
The majority of workers’ compensation systems are “no fault,” meaning employers finance workers’ compensation through insurance premiums. This provides balance between both workers’ and employers’ rights and provides a structure to be used for swift conflict resolutions. Instead of suing the employer in a court of law, the worker receives a definite award that is based upon fixed maximums determined by the state.
If you or someone you know is injured or obtains a disease on the job or because of employer negligence, do the following to ensure you will get workers’ compensation.
1. Contact your supervisor immediately.
Report the injury or illness to an available supervisor and insist on written documentation. Even if your state allows verbal notices, you want immediate proof that your injury is reported. Waiting to file a claim may put you out of your state’s statute of limitations, forfeiting your legal rights.
2. Get the name and position of the person you reported the injury to.
As a rule of thumb, you want information on every person involved in your injury claim. Even the smallest detail may help your legal case if there are complications with your report.
3. Ask to fill out a “first report of injury” form.
An employee’s first report of injury form is used to report any and all work related injuries and illnesses no matter how minor. These forms are used by state officials as a guide to identify and thus correct possible hazards before they cause another or a more serious injury.
4. Seek treatment for the workplace injury as soon as possible.
You have the right to choose your preferred physician without the interference of your employer. In the state of Kentucky, workers may receive all necessary medical treatment without making a co-payment– employers are required to pay reasonable and necessary medical expenses
5. Get legal help from an experienced workplace injury lawyer.
A workplace injury lawyer can help represent your interests in a court of law if your employer denies your claim. They can also help if your employer doesn’t cover all of your costs or fails to send your benefits. You will also need an attorney if your illness or injury prevents you from being able to work going forward or if your employer retaliates against you for filing a claim. People receiving Social Security benefits and those who may have a third party claim should also consult a lawyer.
If you or someone you love experiences injury or illness while working in Kentucky or Southern Indiana, contact us today. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help make sure your employer is held accountable for covering your total costs. For additional info, or to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Cooper and Friedman attorney, call 502-459-7555 now.