If you are hurt on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. The detail of each case will determine whether or not you are actually eligible for benefits, but you always should look into the possibility after an injury has been suffered. Unfortunately, many employees don’t know that they have rights in this area, and they wind up missing out on important benefits as a result. If you have recently been injured in the workplace, or if you are concerned about the possibility of an injury in the future, the following questions and answers may be helpful as you decide how to proceed.
What Should I Do First?
Often, employees injured on the job don’t know how to proceed in the moments after an injury occurs. One of the most important things you can do is tell a supervisor about your injury right away. Report the incident as soon as it occurs, ask to see a doctor, and ask for workers’ compensation forms. Even if you aren’t immediately sure that you will need to file a claim, it is better to be proactive upfront. You won’t be under any obligation to file the claim in the end, so you can always decide otherwise if the injury turns out to be a minor matter.
What Benefits Are Available?
First, you are entitled to medical treatment which is covered by the insurance company for care needed as a result of an on-the-job injury. Also, you may be able to receive disability payments during the time you are unable to work, and even permanent disability payments if you can’t work over the long run. Should it happen that you are unable to return to your current position, vocational rehab may be paid for as well, in order to train you for a new career.
Where Do the Payments Come From?
Your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance company which is used by your employer will make the workmans’ comp payments in the case of a claim. This kind of insurance works just like any other form of insurance, in that an adjuster handles the claim and comes to a determination.
What Kind of Injuries Are Eligible?
One of the common mistakes made by injured workers is overlooking certain types of injuries. It is easy to understand that you can file a claim when you are injured in a dramatic way, such as in an accident with a piece of machinery. However, if your injury is subtle, and takes place over time, you may not ever think to file a claim. For instance, you can experience lung issues from exposure to chemicals, or you could sustain a hand injury from repetitive stress.
As an employee, you have the right to protection in the form of workers’ compensation. You shouldn’t have to just ‘ignore’ the pain while continuing to do your job. If you are hurt in the workplace, report your injury immediately and look into the possibility of filing a claim to be compensated for your loss.