Everyone wants to work hard, play hard. But some job sites play around with the rules.
Thousands of Americans get injured in the workplace every year. Injuries range from minor scrapes to brain and spine damage.
The time after an at work injury is a confusing one. The physical pain and recovery take up a lot of resources and headspace. Many people don’t know where to start when they consider legal options.
You can start here. Here is a quick guide to your legal options after an at work injury.
Right After an at Work Injury
You should report your injuries as soon as they happen. File a written report with your employer, and keep a copy for yourself. Take photographs and videos of your injuries.
Go see a doctor as soon as possible. Get a full evaluation, and keep all paperwork that they give you. Try to determine that your injury is not due to a pre-existing condition.
Most employers refer their employees to a doctor after a work injury. The employer usually pays this doctor.
This doctor will give you treatment, but they may minimize the seriousness of your injury. They may say your injury was due to a pre-existing condition, which can lead to your claim being denied. Go to your own doctor to get a second opinion.
Filing a Claim
Return to work as soon as possible. Workers who spend too much time in the hospital can get fired or have claims denied. Even if you don’t think you can perform work, try to make an attempt.
Employers offer employees a claim form immediately after an injury at work. Completing a claim is a necessary step to receive compensation. Most doctors’ offices and emergency rooms also have a form.
Sign and date your form, and keep a copy for yourself. The government requires employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. The employer will contact their insurance company, and the company will reach out to you for a claim.
The company may deny your claim. You can then appeal to the court.
If your employer does not have insurance, your state will pay for your benefits. You can sue for negligence if your employer lacks insurance.
FECA Legal Protections
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act covers federal employees who suffer a workplace injury. Employees of the United States government, people who act as civil servants, and staffers of former Presidents receive FECA protections.
People under FECA have stronger protections than in nearly all states. They can go to their own doctor for initial treatment. They can also appeal a claim to federal boards.
If you are not under FECA, you are under state workers’ compensation laws. Each state has different laws, so you will need to research them.
You can contact a lawyer during any stage of the claim process. A lawyer will negotiate with insurance companies, file court motions, and conduct research when you are hurt.
Help Yourself to Improve Your Health
An at work injury can devastate you in your prime. Don’t wait around. File a claim and get the benefits you deserve.
As soon as you get injured, file a claim with your employer. Go to a doctor and get a full account of your injuries. Keep all papers you receive.
Contact a lawyer if you need help. Use your FECA protections if you have them. Keep reading our coverage to find out more laws that protect you.