Nearly 3 million people are injured on the job every year in the United States. If you’re one of them, knowing what steps to take following an injury is essential for ensuring you’re properly compensated for the costs of your care.
As a top-ranked urgent care practice with locations in Kihei, Kahului, and Lahaina, Hawaii, Minit Medical Urgent Care and Physical Therapy helps employees get the medical care they need to relieve pain and other problems associated with workplace injuries. If you’ve been injured at your job, here’s what you should do next.
It probably goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning anyway — if you assess your injuries and find any of them require immediate medical care, obviously your first step is to call 9-1-1 or seek care at your nearest emergency room.
Workers’ compensation claims require complete detail, so it’s very important to write down everything you can about the accident as soon as possible, before any of the events or details become fuzzy. Take note of when and how your injury happened, along with any other pertinent facts, like what you were doing, what the environment was like, and who else was there.
It’s also important to report the accident or injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your claim could be denied. You don’t need to report it to your supervisor immediately after your accident or injury, but you should do so within a few days, if possible.
Often, it’s the supervisor or other company representative who actually submits the workers’ compensation claim, but be sure to ask if that’s the case, or if you need to submit the claim on your own.
As soon as you can, call our office to schedule a workers’ compensation evaluation. This appointment is critically important, providing the expert medical opinion needed for you to get compensation for your medical care, along with other compensation for lost time. Bring your notes about the accident with you, too.
In addition to making notes about the accident itself, you should also keep copies of any forms you receive, all emails regarding the injury or accident, and any paperwork from the doctor, your boss, your workplace insurance company, and anyone else involved with your claim.
Keep copies of any medical bills, too, including records of any copays or other expenses you’ve covered out of pocket so you can be reimbursed. If you have a telephone or in-person discussion with anyone at work regarding your case, follow up with an email recapping what was discussed so there’s a record of those conversations, too.
It’s important to follow your health care provider’s instructions after any sort of accident, but following a workplace injury, it’s especially critical. That’s because if you cut corners or skip appointments, the person handling your workers’ compensation claim may decide you no longer need care, and your compensation or other benefits could be cut early. If you need to cancel a visit, make sure you reschedule it for the next available date. Likewise, if you have any questions about your care, call the office and ask.
The workers’ compensation process is time-sensitive. Make sure you have all deadlines written down — ideally in communication from your workplace or the company handling your claim. Missing even a single deadline could cause your claim to be denied. Use a calendar or set reminders on your phone to help you remember.
Workers’ compensation is designed to keep you whole following an injury, paying for medical costs, loss of income, and some other expenses. The key to getting the benefits you deserve is to make sure you take the proper steps after your accident to start the claims process in a timely fashion, and keep it moving smoothly.
If you’ve been injured on the job, we can help. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Minit Medical Urgent Care and Physical Therapy today.