Enduring a workplace injury can severely impact your income, as well as your physical and emotional health. To some individuals with families, such an injury can also affect their lifestyles and put them in great debt. However, you don’t have to cover your own medical bills, and any hospital stays needed for recuperation should be legally covered by your employer. Unfortunately, many workplaces will attempt to skirt their way around covering your medical bills and your sick leave.
Here’s what you need to do in case you’re injured at work to make sure that you get the compensation you need.
Document the Incident
While it may not be at the top of your head when you sustain a physical injury, documenting the accident through photographs can help you report your injury more effectively. Take photos of your injury, as well as your surroundings, to confirm the whereabouts of the accident.
If your injury is too severe for you to reach for your phone, ask a nearby colleague to take photos on your behalf. Any employees on the premises who have seen the accident first-hand can also be included in your injury report, and their testimony can suffice if there is no physical evidence of the incident.
Report Your Injury
Your injury should be directly reported to your supervisor or your HR department. Be as specific as you can in your report. It’s best to have it written down in an email with multiple superiors copied in. If an employee endures an injury and fails to file a report within thirty days after the incident, they may lose their worker’s compensation.
While immediate medical attention comes first, this thirty-day window can provide you with enough time to record the happenings of the incident in written form. If for any reason, you are incapable of writing this report, attorneys from https://www.stewartlawoffices.net/workers-compensation-lawyer/ explain that a colleague or a nurse can send the report to your superiors on your behalf. However, occupational diseases have a much wider window, as symptoms may arise months after infection. As soon as your doctor identifies your disease as occupational, a notification should be sent to your employer or supervisor within two years after the incident.
Keep Your Interactions Recorded
Avoid speaking to your employers in person about your incident, as recorded evidence plays a major role in obtaining you needed financial and medical compensation. Some employers may offer you a sum of money in an attempt to avoid a lawsuit, but this offer should always be turned down, as it’s almost always much less than how much you’d need for your medical expenses.
Worker’s compensation also includes a paid medical leave, alongside covering any medical costs needed during your recuperation period. If you already go to a specialized clinic, you have the right to be treated by the doctor of your choice. Your employer may choose a doctor based on needed expenses, so make sure to do your research before you select your medical caretaker yourself.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
If your injury is severe and requires months of recuperation, you should always follow your doctor’s orders, even if you think that you feel better. You may be tempted to go back to work in a few days if you’re concerned about the validity of your paid leave. However, your employer is legally bound to provide you with the income agreed upon in your contract, alongside all the medical expenses needed for your recovery.
Resume Work As Soon As You Can
As soon as your doctor confirms your recovery, any days taken off after your sick leave will not be paid for. Because your employer is paying your worker’s compensation for your hospital stay, your doctor has to sign an end date on your fit note. This note is a written confirmation from your GP that you’re only fit to work after a specified date. If your doctor verbally confirms your fitness for work before the end date, you may still take the remaining days off as part of your paid sick leave.
The employees that endure injury at work should always document the incident as soon as possible, and let their supervisor know exactly what happened. If your company’s HR department denies your compensation rights, it’s best to consult an attorney. Remember that you can always choose the doctor you wish to treat you; however, expect a second doctor’s opinion to evaluate your condition. If you’re ever offered an adequate sum of money directly from your employer, turn the offer down, and demand compensation through medical insurance.