Steps to Take When Injured on the Job
- Tell someone at the management level at your place of employment immediately about the injury. Do not take a “wait and see” approach. If you do not tell your employer within 30 days, you may lose your right to compensation. Notify your employer in writing about the injury including the nature of the injury, where and when it occurred and your name and address. You should keep a copy of the notice for your records. If your employer will not provide you with a form to notify them of the injury in writing, the Division of Workers’ Compensation has created a form which you may use to submit to your employer concerning the injury. [WC-280]
- Ask your employer which doctor or hospital you should see for treatment. Under the Workers’ Compensation Law, your employer has the right to select which doctor or hospital treats your injury. If you do not allow your employer to choose the doctor that treats you, then you will likely have to pay for the treatment yourself. When you go to the doctor or hospital that your employer chooses, you should inform them that your treatment is related to a work injury and billing should be directed to your employer or their workers’ compensation insurer.
- Begin keeping a detailed journal. To keep track of your injury and progress, write down:a. The time and date of the injury;
b. Where you were when it occurred;
c. What you were doing when it occurred;
d. What you felt immediately afterwards and then hours and days later;
e. Who saw the injury occur;
f. Who you reported the injury to and what they told you to do;
g. The names of the doctors, hospitals and other facilities you see for treatment as well as the dates you see them;
h. What the doctors tell you about your condition;
i. The names of any medications you are prescribed for the injury and any advice your doctors give you;
j. A description of how you feel every day – make note of any pain, numbness or tingling you experience due to the injury and its severity;
k. A log of your mileage to and from any and all treatment that is outside the local area from your home or principal place of employment;
l. Any other information that you believe will be important later should also be included in the journal.
- Also, begin to keep track of how much work you miss. Sometimes doing this on a calendar specifically designated for your Workers’ Compensation claim is helpful and will remind you to do this on a daily basis.
Above all else, act promptly.
To protect your rights, report your injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible.