WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM HURT ON THE JOB?
Workers should report all injuries, accidents and suspected occupational diseases to their foremen or supervisors immediately. It would be smart for a worker–although it is not required– to make that report in writing and to keep a copy for him or her self. Workers should give their employers notice of injury or disability within 90 days from the date of injury or the date they should have known of the injury. Late reporting can sometimes be excused, but don’t take that chance. Report injuries as soon as possible.
Workers should seek proper medical care and first-aid for their conditions. If the worker is employed with a company that maintains a plant doctor on site, he or she should seek that doctor’s care for every injury and whenever the medical condition is bothering him or her. Some workers without health insurance may find it difficult to obtain medical care for injuries–especially if the employer is claiming that the injury is not work-related. Nevertheless, it is essential for the worker’s recovery as well as for the worker’s proof of a continuing disability that the injured worker continue to seek regular medical treatment for the duration of the disability.
Workers need to make a claim with their employer for workers’ compensation benefits. It would again be smart for this claim to be made in writing and for the worker to keep a copy for him or her self. This claim does not have to be terribly official or formal; just let the employer know that you want whatever workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. Any such claim must be made within two years after the later of (1) the date of injury (2) the date the disability manifests itself, or (3) the last day of employment with the employer against whom the claim is made. Failure to make a claim within these time periods will prohibit recovery.
If the employer or its insurance company refuses to pay your claim, it is recommended that you contact our law firm that specializes in workers’ compensation who may be able to represent you in a workers’ compensation case.
If no benefits of any kind have ever been paid for the disability, workers can only recover wage loss disability benefits two years back from the date an application for hearing is filed with the Agency. If wage loss disability benefits were paid originally but were cut off, workers can only recover wage loss disability benefits one year back from the date an application for hearing is filed with the Agency.