According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,333 people in the United States died because of work-related injuries, in the year 2019. While the chances of a workplace injury being fatal are uncommon, the injuries themselves affect a number of workers. Because of how common workplace injuries are, a worker can make a claim to receive monetary compensation or reimbursement of medical bills.
How You Can Claim Compensation for a Work-Related Injury?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the United States Department of Labor defines a workplace injury as any work-related injury or sickness that the work environment causes or contributes to.
A workplace injury can include many things – from falling and injuring yourself, to developing cancer or any illness because of exposure to dangerous chemicals. If you get injured or sick while you are on the job, because of the nature of the work you do, then your condition will qualify as a workplace injury. A workers compensation claim is made to your employer’s insurance carrier, who covers your workers’ compensation.
There are certain that you will need to qualify if your claim is valid, and you want workers’ compensation. They are as follows:
- You should be a legal employee who was injured while working. Your claim will not be valid if you are being paid under the table, or you get injured while you are off-the-clock.
- You were not involved in something illegal while you sustained your injury. If you were under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other illicit substances, then your claim can be rejected.
- Your employer was informed of your injury as soon as it was possible. If you are seriously injured, then your employer should be alerted immediately. You should not try to hide or downplay your injuries if you are planning on filing a claim.
- You filed your claim for workers’ compensation before the deadline. Different stats can have different deadlines for claims, so make sure that you are informed of the time limit for filing claims for your state is.
You need to be aware that not every injury sustained in the workplace can be classified as a workplace injury. Any injury sustained at the workplace can be divided into compensable work injuries and non-compensable work injuries.
Any injury or illness that is a result of the work, or the work environment, is a compensable work injury. A non-compensable work injury is any injury or illness that cannot be traced to the nature of your work, or your work environment. It may also include any injury that your worker’s compensation provider does not consider to be related to your work.
Steps to Take after a Work-Related Injury
If you have been injured while you were working, make sure that you follow the steps below:
- File a Claim to Receive Workers’ Compensation – You should alert your employer about your injury, and contact the human resources department of your workplace. They will provide you with an injury report and a form to claim tour workers’ compensation.
- Get Immediate Medical Attention – You should get medical attention as soon as possible to avoid complications with your injuries. Even if it seems like your injuries are minor, you could have still sustained a concussion or other internal injuries. Prompt treatment will help minimize the effects of the injury you have sustained.
- Check if you can Receive Welfare or Disability – Once you have filed a claim for workers’ compensation, you should also check to see if you can qualify for welfare or disability. Usually, the claims are processed fast, but there can be times when processing the claims can take longer. Even if you receive your workers’ compensation promptly, it is a good idea to supplement your income while you are out of work.
Only Get Back to Work After you Recover – While the loss of income can take a toll, you should only return to work after you have recovered. Going back to work when you should be recuperating can cause health complications. So you should take the time to recover before you rejoin the workforce.