What To Do If You Are Hurt At Work
A worker who gets hurt on the job is likely to go through many emotions. Fear is the predominant one.There is a great deal of uncertainty and insecurity involved, uncertainty in terms of handling the situation and insecurity about the future of his or her job.
Almost all workers working in Pennsylvania are covered by the state’s workers’ compensation law. In New Jersey as well, most companies are expected to protect their employees by providing them with workers’ compensation through insurance.
To get workers’ compensation, there are some important points to keep in mind. Following these measures can help make the entire process smooth.
Timing is Crucial:
If you get hurt at work, the first step is to inform your company of your injury immediately. If the injury is not reported right away, your chances of getting a claim could be adversely affected. The reason why timing is important is that most states have a time window within which a work injury must be reported to the employer. Also known as the statute of limitations.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that an employee must report their injury to their company within 21 days of it taking place. In New Jersey, the reporting time is 14 days in most cases.The employee also has an additional 30 day and 90 day window for reporting the injury. A significant delay could, however, increase the possibility of the claim getting declined.
The Form of communication:
Try to ensure that you submit your injury report in writing. Verbally communicating to your supervisor might be enough, but it is better to not take a risk. Having written proof of the communication is always better, as it can act as evidence in the event of a discrepancy.
Write a detailed letter describing your injury and the cause behind it. Your company might make an accident report for you. If they are preparing the report, make sure you get a copy and keep it secure.
Filing a compensation claim:
Once the company is notified of your injury, they will file a ‘First Report of Injury’ with the insurance company. Once the insurance company has details of the accident and the injury, a compensation claim can be filed. The insurance company will file a report with the state according to the state’s worker compensation laws.The insurance carrier will then review the claim and decide whether they will accept it or reject it.
If your injuries need medical attention, find out from your company the list of pre-approved doctors that you can consult. If you go to a doctor of your choice, one that is not approved by the company, there is a chance that you might not be able to claim worker compensation. So, it is advisable to go through the medical channel approved by your company.
Hiring an attorney:
Working through the various legalities of claiming compensation can be overwhelming. This is why engaging a work injury lawyer is a good idea.
In case of any claim related disputes with your employer or insurance company, a competent lawyer can help in resolving the issues and making sure that you don’t lose out on getting your dues. Having a lawyer can be particularly useful if your company tries to wrangle out of filing a claim for you, citing reasons like the injury not being work related for example.
A work injury lawyer can guide you through the various steps and procedures involved in getting the compensation you deserve for getting hurt while at work. A lawyer’s priority will be to protect your interests.
The Law Offices of Goldberg & Wolf specialize in workers’ compensation and work injury cases. If you or someone you know has suffered a work-related injury while on-the-job, contact our legal team at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation.