When an employee is injured on the job, their first reaction is usually fear. Fear that they will lose their job for reporting the accident, fear that their injury will make them unable to work and fear that they will lose their lifestyle and income. And while all of these fears are completely reasonable and common, there is no need to fear losing your job or losing your income if you take the right steps.
In Indiana, we have the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act, which entitles an employee to paid medical care and benefits should they be injured while on the job. Your company is also required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, so when you do find yourself hurt on the job, that insurance will cover your medical care and lost wages. In order to have the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Act work in your favor and get a part of the worker’s compensation insurance, you must follow these steps.
1. Tell Someone Right Away
If you wait to report your injury, you could lose out on all that workers comp has to offer you. As soon as you get injured, you need to stop what you are doing and report your injuries to your boss, manager or supervisor. You should not only verbally tell them of your injury, but also give a written notice so you have proof that you reported it in a timely and efficient manner.
2. Get Medical Help
If your injury is dire, do this one first. But if you can let your boss know of your injury before you head to the doctor, this can wait until the incident is reported. This is because a lot of workers’ comp insurance requires employees to see a certain doctor and if you see a doctor not approved by the insurance, you may not be able to receive payment for your treatment. If you have an emergency, there is no need to wait: get to the nearest hospital and get treatment immediately. Emergency injuries are exempt from the must-use doctor rule until follow up treatments are needed.
3. Hire an Attorney
Sometimes, a workers’ comp claim is straightforward: you get injured, tell your employer, and receive the proper benefits. But, unfortunately, this is often not the case. Employers will sometimes try not to pay you what you are owed and can give employees the runaround to avoid hefty payments. If you feel you are not getting what you deserve or being treated properly, it’s imperative that you hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney before your case gets too out of hand.
4. Get Rest
For many, the worst part of their workers’ comp claim is the injury that prevents them from going to work. Sitting at home and resting can be difficult for those who want to provide for their families and feel productive. But resting is the best thing you can do right now for you, your family and your job. If you overexert yourself or go back to work too soon, you are at a higher risk of further injury and in turn, you could make the situation much worse. Listen to what the doctor tells you, do the proper treatments, and let yourself have this time to relax.
If you were injured at work, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. We have helped tons of employees with their worker’s comp claims and will be there for you every step of the way. Contact us at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.