To err is human. No matter how careful you are at work, there will always be a possibility of getting injured. According to a national survey, some 500 work-related injuries happen per hour. An estimate of 7 million work injuries happens annually.
Injuries vary in severity and type. Most commonly, workers may experience sprains, strains, and tears after overuse or overexertion of muscles. Being overworked may also result in soreness or pain. When physical limitations are breached, the victim may experience cuts, lacerations, and punctures.
Employees who have experienced injury may have to resort to taking some time off from work. Their absence may affect the workforce and the overall productivity of the workplace. However, life goes on, and the victim is left responsible for recovering as quickly as possible. In general, injured workers should act as fast as to treat the injury and acknowledge it to proceed to work on the compensation claim. Here are concrete steps to follow.
Be prepared and be equipped with knowledge on how to respond to injury.
Take advantage of the seminars and symposium that your company has arranged to inform you on what to do when injured. These seminars must explain the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards or OSHA standards in helping workers protect themselves in times of trouble.
These seminars may include creating response plans and training employees and supervisors using the prepared response plans.
Obtain first aid or other necessary medical treatment to stabilize body conditions and prevent further injuries.
You should have easy access to the company’s first-aid supplies when the accident happens. You may ask help from other co-workers or the designated health care provider that your company has authorized. The assisting health professional must, in turn, have authorization from the Worker’s Compensation. With the absence of an employed health professional in the company, the latter should refer you to a participating health care provider.
In the case of diagnostic tests or prescription medicine, your employer or insurance may require you to have the tests from a diagnostic network or designated pharmacies that previously signed a deal with your employer. Your employer should give you a written consent before you can utilize the facilities.
Get the incident in writing.
Before you are referred to a health care provider or pharmacy, you must report the incident to your immediate supervisor as soon as possible. The best way is to put the report in written form. However, there are situations when a company honors a verbal notice. Immediate filing of the report is necessary. Some states have a short filing deadline, and missing the deadline may let you lose any legal rights or worker’s compensation from your employer.
It is a necessity to fill in and sign form A-9. The form must be submitted while the company or the victim’s personal injury attorney files for their client’s injury claim. Form A-9 stipulates that the victim should pay the medical bills if the Worker’s Compensation Board rejects their claim.
Take hold of Form C-3 and fill it out completely.
When done, please submit it to the nearest office of the Worker’s Compensation Board. Notifying the immediate supervisor should only take 30 days after the occurrence of the accident. The submission and filing of Form C-3 should be within two years of the injury or the occurrence of any disability or occupational disease.
Remember, each state has different rules, guidelines, and deadlines, and thus you must know these things so as not to lose any rights. Injuries differ in severity and urgency to be treated by a doctor or specialist. You might need a lawyer for severe and complex cases if your company did not fully satisfy your needs and questions. If you have to take the matter in court, be ready with a lawyer who will represent you and speak of your case.
If you are not happy with the final result of your claim, you can request an oral hearing or review of your case at the Branch of Hearings and Review. For a reconsideration, do submit a written request accompanied by more evidence that was not previously submitted. You should forward these documents to the District Office, which will grant a hearing and the final decision. You may also request the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB) for a review.
Meanwhile, you have to follow the doctor’s instructions religiously to attain a speedy and full recovery. You may also be required to attend an Independent Medical Examination. Take care of yourself to go back to work again as soon as you have fully recovered.