Every state requires businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance, also called workman’s comp, which protects the employees who suffer an injury at work. Workers’ compensation is meant to cover medical expenses and other injury-related expenses, but it is not a fool-proof system. Your best option is to have a personal injury attorney experienced with workers’ comp claims in your corner to protect your rights and help seek fair compensation for your workplace injury.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
Accidents can happen on the job at any moment, and it is important to know what to do in the event of a workplace injury. Here are the steps you should follow if you’ve suffered an injury at work.
Step 1. Report the Injury
Our workers’ comp attorneys have seen many cases where the workplace insurance company tries to deny the claim if the injury was not reported promptly. The best way to avoid an issue is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.
Step 2. Seek Medical Attention and Mention it Happened at Work
After a workplace injury, no matter how small you think it is, you should see a doctor. There are many instances where you do not know the full extent of your injuries because your body’s natural response after an accident is fueled with adrenaline. If your doctor is one that your employer selected, you may also want to get a second opinion and an examination by a doctor that will advocate on your behalf, not just your employer’s.
You must tell the doctor that the injury occurred at work so it will be documented properly. It is very important that you ensure the doctor records this information in your medical notes on your first visit. Insurance companies will often try to deny workplace injury claims if the medical notes do not include that it was a work injury.
- If your doctor restricts you from returning to work, you may be entitled to receive weekly checks. If your doctor says you can return to work but only on a light-duty job and your employer does not have a light-duty job, you may still be entitled to receive weekly checks. Make sure to follow the doctor’s orders and advice and do not miss any following appointments with your physical therapist or other health care professional.
Step 3. File a Timely Claim to Receive Compensation
In addition to reporting the injury to your employer, in Missouri, you must also file a prompt Claim for Compensation or a hearing application within two years after the date of the injury.
This deadline could be extended for a number of circumstances, such as, if the employer did not properly file a report of the accident. Even if you think you have missed a filing deadline, it is still important to contact a workman’s comp lawyer because there could be an exception that extends your deadline.
Step 4. Document All Injury-Related Expenses
It is important to record all missed days from work, all travel, and all out-of-pocket expenses due to your injury. Workman’s comp covers all medical expenses necessary for diagnosing and treating a workplace injury and you are entitled to reimbursement for any injury-related expenses.
Workman’s comp compensates employees for lost wages while off work, which is typically two-thirds of an employee’s weekly wage. You could also be entitled to other benefits such as vocational rehabilitation benefits if you are unable to return to your pre-injury job.
Step 5. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
When it comes to workplace injuries, hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is a must! Your workers’ comp attorney needs to be familiar with all of the complexities of Missouri workman’s comp rules and regulations. Deputy & Mizell has the experience and resources to help protect your rights after you’ve been injured in a workplace accident.
Lake of the Ozarks Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Workman’s comp insurance requirements vary based on the number of employees and the type of business and work the employees perform, so it is extremely important to schedule a consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorneys.
If you have been suffered a workplace injury, contact us today so we can evaluate your claim and begin your case!