Safety at the workplace is something that the government and unions try get employers of labor to take as seriously as possible. In fact, the government through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor tries to regulate it, slamming offenders with huge fines.
Despite this, work related injuries and health conditions have continued to persist. According to the National Safety Council, about eight workers get injured on the job every minute. You can see the breakdown here. When this happens, what is the fate of the worker?
More often than not, we find that organizations try to blame the worker for the accident or injury. This is usually done as an attempt to absolve themselves of any liability. Many workers have been short-changed in this way and this should not be the case.
It is this kind of injustice that a comp claim will seek to prevent.
What is a Comp Claim?
Should a worker get injured on the job or develop health issues as a result of the job they are doing, they can easily sue their employer and demand adequate compensation for the injury or health issue and other surrounding issues that have arisen from it. Such litigations could also include claims for punitive damages to be awarded for negligence on the part of the employer.
A compensation plan is therefore put in place much like an insurance policy to take care of whatever needs (loss of wages and medical bills) that may arise from said injury. With such a plan in place, the worker gains compensation while losing the right to sue their employer for any negligence on their part.
You can get a detailed explanation here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers%27_compensation.
Important Things to Note about Filing a Comp Claim
Sadly, these things don’t always go as smoothly as they should when it’s time to pay claims. There are often delays and excuses that are all aimed at either not paying at all or drastically reducing what will be paid. In this next section, we will look at some simple things you need to do to ensure your right to full and complete compensation for injuries sustained or health issues developed on the job is not jeopardized.
Report Injuries Promptly
One of the very first things you need to do is report whatever injuries or health issues you suffer on the job immediately. Prompt reporting is critical as a delay in reporting can mean you losing your right to compensation. Promptly report any such issues to your boss.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
You should ensure you seek immediate medical help. Your first goal should be to get treatment for whatever injury or ailment you may be suffering. Aside taking care of your health, you will also be gathering medical records that can be used in evidence to prove that you indeed had such an injury or ailment at the said time.
Know What Your Benefits Are
You cannot make a claim of what you are not aware of. Ensure you get properly informed of what your workers’ compensation benefits are.
Consider Your Choice of Medical Care Giver
In a lot of cases, you will be required to receive treatment from a doctor that the insurance company will choose. You should however consider switching to a different doctor as soon as possible. The reason for this is simply that the doctor chosen by the insurance company is loyal to the insurer. Since you may rely on the doctor’s reports when you make a claim, it may be better to switch to a doctor whose loyalties won’t be divided.
Do Not Miss Your Independent Medical Examinations
An independent medical examination may be requested by the insurance company to confirm or disprove your claims. This is not something you want to miss as it could be a basis for the forfeiture of your compensation.
Keep Proper Records
It is important that you keep detailed records of everything that transpires from the day of the injury. If for example you sustained a neck injury on job on the 5th of July 2019, record this, who you reported to and where you went to for treatment. You should also include every document including letters from the insurance company or your employer, work restriction notice and any documents you may have received related to the case. These may be required for evidence later.
Seek Legal Assistance
If you find that things are not going as smoothly as they should, do not hesitate to consult an attorney who specializes in workers’ comp claims. This will most certainly speed things up and ensure you get as much compensation as you should.