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Reporting Injury on the Job: Things to Consider

If you suffer an injury on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Reporting an injury is the first step to receiving workers' compensation benefits.

Workers' comp benefits can compensate you for medical costs and the costs of rehabilitation. It can also compensate you for wages lost if you suffer disability as a result of the accident.

First Steps to Take When Reporting Injury

When you suffer an injury in the workplace, your top priority should be to seek the necessary medical attention.

Once your injury is under control, take the initial steps to get worker compensation benefits. The first critical step is telling your employer about your injury as soon as possible. The statute of limitations (or time limit for filing a claim) for workers' comp claims varies from state to state. However, most state laws require you to report the injury to your employer within one to three months after the accident occurs. If you fail to report within the state-mandated time period, you may be barred from seeking workers' comp.

Undergoing a Medical Exam

Your employer will submit your claim to its workers' comp insurance carrier. The carrier will then usually request that you undergo a medical exam to determine the extent of your injuries.

Do not divulge unnecessary information during the exam. The insurance company may be looking for anything that can help them deny your claim. Therefore, it is in your best interests to be as precise as possible when answering the medical examiner's questions without adding any extra information.

You will also want to take mental notes of the types of tests the medical examiner conducted, as well as how long the examiner took to conduct each test. When you leave the examination, write these notes down. You may need them if the insurance carrier ends up denying your claim.

Hiring a Workers' Comp Lawyer

You may want to look into hiring a workers' comp lawyer to help you secure your workers' comp benefits. The lawyer can make sure that when you report the injury you include all information necessary to convince the carrier to grant you workers' comp benefits.

The lawyer may need a lot of information when helping you with reporting an injury. He or she will definitely want to know the results of both your initial visit to your healthcare provider for treatment, as well as see the medical records of the insurance company's medical examiner.

Your lawyer may also want to look into your company's safety records to see if there is a history of accidents and to ensure all equipment was up to code at the time of the accident. He or she will also want to try to assess the extent of your medical injuries and whether you are permanently or temporarily disabled.

Finally, your lawyer can assess your workers' comp claim to estimate your benefit amount, which includes medical costs and compensation for lost wages due to disability.