If you suffer an injury while performing your work, there are certain steps you should take in order to make the process of receiving workers’ compensation and proper healthcare for your injury as straightforward as possible. Your employer should have a procedure in place to ensure that you have (1) financial security and (2) appropriate medical care to allow you to get back to work if possible.
A work-related injury is not always obvious, and it may not be noticeable right away. It may get worse over time, such as a repetitive strain injury from using tools over long periods.
If you believe that your injury is a result of your job, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible. You could be entitled to workers’ compensation, but there may be certain steps that must be followed to ensure that everything is properly documented as necessary.
Types of Work Injuries
Examples of common work-related injuries include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries (back and neck pain, sprains, strains, fractures)
- Repetitive-motion injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, bursitis)
- Eye injury
- Hearing injury
- Crushing injuries/trauma
- Auto accidents or collisions
- Occupational exposures (exposure to contaminated blood via needlestick or open wound, exposure to hazardous chemicals via inhalation or contact with skin)
Seek the Right Medical Care
If you suffer an injury at work that is serious, seek immediate emergency medical care. If, however, your injury is not an emergency, your employer may ask you to seek medical care from a medical provider on their Designated Provider list.
Some workers’ compensation boards require an employee to use specific or approved healthcare providers, and seeing your own doctor may actually not be covered for this purpose. Talk to your Human Resources advisor about your options and your limitations, if any.
Report the Injury
If you are injured at work, your injury should be reported to a supervisor as soon as possible. There are fairly strict filing deadlines and requirements within a set time after the injury.
Your employer will advise you regarding how soon your report needs to be filed. Delaying your report may delay or cause you to lose your legal rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Be sure to stay on top of the requirements, and ask a close friend or family member to help you in your efforts.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Following the injury, you will need to complete an official compensation claim form and file it with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. This is a state agency that regulates and oversees injured workers.
Your employer will have this form and will need to fill out the employer section, and you will need to fill out the employee section regarding details of your injury, including:
- What happened and how the injury occurred
- Whether anyone else was involved
- The type of injury sustained and which parts of the body were affected
- Date, time, and the location where the injury occurred
- Medical treatment required and future treatment needs
If possible, it is wise to keep a copy of the form for your own records. Your employer will need to forward the claim to the claims board as soon as possible for the claims process to begin.
An independent medical examination may also be required for an unbiased assessment of your injury.
If accepted, your compensation claim should cover some or all of your medical expenses. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be entitled to compensation for other factors such as ongoing rehabilitation, therapy, trauma counseling, and loss of earnings.
Occupational Health Services in Grand Junction, Colorado
At WorkPartners Occupational Health, our priority is helping employees get back to work faster so they can regain their financial security. Our skilled medical professionals specialize in workers’ compensation injuries, and we offer personalized service for work-related injuries and illnesses.
If you would like to find out more about our quality workers’ compensation and injury care services for work-related illnesses and injuries, or to schedule a consultation with one of our providers, contact us today at (970) 241-5585 or complete our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you successfully recover so you can get back on with enjoying life.