In every state, companies are obligated to provide employees with a safe working environment. But no matter how careful you are, unfortunate accidents can still occur. So, what happens if you get injured on the job?
Regardless of the nature of your job, you should know what to do in case of a work injury. You might even need a work accident attorney in Salt Lake City. Whether you hurt your back or sprain an ankle, know that you’re entitled to certain legal benefits.
Get the Proper Medical Treatment
As with any injury, you must get the right medical care for your condition. If you’re a federal employee, the Federal Employees Compensation Act states that you may choose any qualified medical professional for treatment. Otherwise, state law will apply.
In most cases, you’ll be referred to your company’s official doctor, who will observe your condition for a maximum of 30 days. After this period, you can choose your own physician. The healthcare provider should be authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), except for cases like medical emergencies.
Inform Your Employer Right Away
Most states require employees to report work injuries to their employer immediately. Besides giving your supervisor a verbal notice, be sure to inform them by writing a formal letter.
Once you notify your employer, they should give you a claim form. Until you accomplish the claim form and send it back to them, your employer doesn’t have any obligation to give you benefits yet. Your employer will also ask for more details about your work accident, so be ready to provide details.
Next, check your state’s filing notice. For instance, the deadline is 90 days in Iowa and only 30 days in California.
File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Most states are mandated by law to require companies, emergency rooms, and doctor’s offices to provide workers’ compensation claim forms. You’re entitled to workers’ compensation rights in case of an injury while on the job. These include:
- The right to see a doctor and get medical treatment for your injury
- The right to some form of disability compensation if you’re unable to go back to work because of your injury or sickness
- The right to be represented by a lawyer throughout the ordeal
- The right to file a claim for your injury or ailment through a workers’ compensation court or the state industrial court
A workers’ compensation claim acts as a request for legal benefits. This should cover medical expenses and any loss of income resulting in the accident. It functions a lot like an insurance claim rather than a lawsuit against your employer.
Insurance companies normally take 14 days to notify you about the status of your claim. If you don’t hear from them within this period, you should call them right away.
Remember, the process can get complicated and will take a while. Just be patient and it will all work out. If you need more help, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced accident lawyer.