What you should do if you are injured on the job?
- If it is not an emergency or a life threatening situation, you should notify your supervisor (or someone else above you) immediately regarding all work injuries. If you are alone or on the road, you should call your supervisor as soon as possible and tell him or her you were injured, how you injured yourself and a description of the injury. If you can’t notify your supervisor or someone else above you, because it is an emergency or because you can’t contact them, do so as soon as possible. You must give notice within 15 days of the injury at the latest.
- Get medical care as soon as possible. Your employer should have told you when you were hired where you should get medical care in case of a work injury. If they did, go to that facility. If they did not, ask your supervisor (or someone above you) when you give notice of the injury. If you don’t know where to go, go to the nearest medical facility.
- Fill out a written accident notice form as soon as possible. Your supervisor should have them or know where to get them.
- Once you have gotten medical care, you should ask your supervisor about the possibility of returning to work on a modified schedule or doing modified work based on the restrictions caused by your injury. This can be important because you remain an active employee being paid a salary (although it may be reduced because of your restrictions). Also, you should maintain your health insurance, assuming it was a benefit of your employment. If there is a modified schedule or work duties, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible to make sure he or she is okay with it. You should give your supervisor a copy of your restrictions. While on modified duty, you should carry two copies of your restrictions in case there is an issue regarding what you can and can’t do. This is important. In most cases, returning to work as soon as possible is usually the best thing for an injured worker. However, you don’t want to re-injure yourself.
- Keep all of your medical appointments. If you can’t, give the doctor’s office as much notice as possible and set a new appointment as soon as possible. If you are back at work, try to schedule appointments before or after work if you can.
- If you have any questions about your case and you feel that your employer and/or the insurance adjuster is not being straight with you, call an attorney immediately. Time limits apply to workers’ compensation cases and if you miss them, it can cause you to permanently lose benefits. Even if a time limit is not involved, an attorney can help resolve problems early in the case, which is better than waiting.
- Try to be patient with the system and be patient with your recovery.