If you ever become injured on the job, many questions will come to mind. Who will pay for my medical treatment? Will my employer continue to pay me even though I am unable to work? Is my job safe if I can eventually return to work? You might also wonder what to do following the injury. Should you go to the nearest hospital? When should you file a worker’s comp claim?
Important Steps Following a Work Injury
Above all else, realize that your health is most important. Immediately following your injury it is important to receive the best possible medical treatment. This could mean calling 911 and having an ambulance take you to the nearest hospital.
It could also mean driving yourself to the emergency room, depending on the severity of your injury. Other important steps include:
- Notify your employer: Workers’ compensation laws require that employees notify their employer of their injury as soon as possible. This includes a written notice.
- Notify medical professionals of the cause: It is also important to notify medical providers that the injury is work-related.
- Document all costs and steps: In order to support your claim, it is also helpful to document all costs and steps taken. This includes copies of medical records and invoices. It also includes the time that you had to take off from work for medical procedures.
- Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer: A workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure that your worker’s rights are protected while guiding you on what steps to take.
It is important that you follow these steps. The rules regarding workers’ compensation claims can be strict and failing to report the injury in a timely manner can lead to a denied claim.
Recoverable Costs in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many costs are associated with a work injury. Just a few of the recoverable costs available with a workers’ compensation claim include:
- Adequate and reasonable medical care and prescription costs
- Lost wages and benefits
- Transportation to and from medical visits
- Scarring treatment costs
You also have the right to choose your own medical provider when receiving care. However, your employer can request that you follow-up with one of their approved providers. Some survivors of a work accident that is fatal may also qualify for benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits may be available for both temporary or permanent injuries. It can also include partial or total payment of costs, depending on how severe the work injury is and whether it will affect your capability to return to work.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied
Although you hope it never happens, your employer may refuse to pay for current or future medical bills. They may try to minimize your injury or claim that you were responsible.
If you feel you are being treated unfairly, it may be time to contact an experienced Boston worker’s compensation attorney. This will help ensure that all your medical bills are paid. There are many reasons why your claim can be denied, with lack of evidence or not filing the right paperwork being common reasons. Fortunately, you have the right to appeal the decision and present additional evidence.
While the worker’s compensation system is supposed to be simple, things don’t always work out this way. For this reason, hiring an attorney becomes a necessity. With many changes and loopholes regarding worker’s compensation law, it is difficult for attorneys, let alone employers and employees, to stay current. If you are injured, seek medical help. From there, make sure you hire an attorney if your employer is not cooperating.