4 Things To Do Right Away
(1) Report Your Injury to Your Employer
If you are injured on the job, tell your supervisor about your injury. Sometimes injuries are observed; sometimes they are not. Many workers think, “I’ll wait until tomorrow and see if I’m really hurting,” or “I’ll wait until the end of my shift before I make a report.” That’s a mistake!
Don’t wait. If you delay reporting your injury, you run an increased risk that your employer may dispute that your injury is work-related. You could jeopardize your right to receive valuable benefits when you don’t report your injury. You must tell your employer that you have been hurt when you are injured. Make your report right away.
Once the injury is reported, your employer should immediately make medical treatment available to you. Your employer should also file a First Report of Injury with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier and with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. They may also have their own injury report form for you to fill out.
(2) Get Immediate Medical Care and Treatment
You should seek medical care and treatment right away for your workplace injury. Your employer should arrange for you to receive treatment from a hospital, a walk-in clinic, the company’s medical facility, or a designated physician to get initial medical treatment for your injury. Some employers have an established medical care plan with designated medical providers. If there is a medical care plan in place from the employer, you must follow this plan for your initial medical care and treatment. Later on, you will have the opportunity to switch to your own doctors for your continued medical care and treatment.
(3) File an Official Worker’s Compensation Claim
You must file a formal written notice of your workers’ compensation claim to put your claim on the record. Simply telling your employer, and even receiving medical treatment for your injury, is not enough! The “accident form” that your employer had you fill out is not an official notice of your workers’ compensation claim. You have to file an official notice of your claim to secure your continued benefits, including replacement wages, if you cannot return to work because of your injury.
The State of Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Commission publishes an official form, known as “Form 30C,” which you should use to file your workers’ compensation claim. For most workplace injuries, you have up to one year from your date of injury to file your workers’ compensation claim. This is known as a period of statute of limitations. If you do not officially file your workers’ compensation claim within one year of the date of your injury, you lose your ability to get benefits for this injury. Occupational diseases have a three-year limitations period from the first manifestation of a symptom.
If your employer disputes your claim and contests your right to workers’ compensation benefits, they need to file an official written notice of denial. This is known as a “Form 43.” Otherwise, your employer must begin to pay you workers’ compensation benefits within twenty-eight calendar days. Usually, injured workers start to receive benefits within two weeks. We recommend that if you don’t receive your first benefit check within two weeks, you should contact both your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
To start paying you benefits, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will need the First Report of Injury Form and a statement of your wages from your employer, a medical report from your treating doctor to confirm that your injury is work-related and that the injury prevents you from returning to work, and information about your tax-filing status and claimed exemptions from you.
(4) Consult With Our Firm
Many people have the (wrong) impression that they can manage their own workers’ compensation cases without an attorney. Some people just blindly trust that their employers will take care of them. They are sadly mistaken!
Workers’ compensation is an area of highly complex law, where you can easily lose benefits that you should have been entitled to, without even realizing your loss. For instance, most people understand that you can get wage replacement benefits if you miss time from work because of a workplace injury.
But did you know that you can also have your medical bills paid in full? Receive mileage reimbursement for your medical appointments? Get paid for permanent injuries? And receive additional compensation for scarring or disfigurement?
In the blink of an eye, you can lose benefits that you were entitled to when you don’t know enough to even request them! You have the absolute right to be represented by an attorney of your choice in your workers’ compensation case. You need advice from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. You need help!
Your employer does not have your best interest at heart. Your employer certainly wants you to fully recover from your workplace injury and return to work as soon as possible. However, your employer always has its own best interest at heart. It wants you to return to work as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Your employer is supported by its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. And you can bet that your employer has its own attorney representing its legal interest. Don’t fight your case alone. Call our office. We are here to help!