Some Things to Know About an On-The-Job Injury

You should report the injury immediately! This is perhaps the most important thing that you need to remember. Report it to a supervisor or manager so that you will be protected. Try to get it documented. Sometimes people will think, “Oh, it doesn’t hurt much,” or, “Well, it’s almost the weekend, so I’ll wait until Monday,” etc. Don’t wait! – if you get better quickly and don’t need treatment, that’s great. However, it won’t hurt anything to report the injury when it happens “just in case.”

Keep in mind that your work injury claim needs to be filed with an insurance company – not just with your employer. If your employer doesn’t file the necessary paperwork with the insurance company, you should do it yourself. Don’t assume that it’s being handled; follow up with the right people within the company.

Know that you will probably be drug tested if you are injured on the job and that if you fail the test, you will jeopardize your ability to receive treatment or wages through workers’ compensation.

Although the insurance company will have to pay for your treatment, keep in mind that they get to control that treatment in terms of which doctor and medical facilities are used. If you decide to go to the doctor or hospital of your choice, you run the risk that it might not be covered.

You can only receive lost wages if the doctor specifically takes you off work. The law doesn’t allow you do decide if you can go back to work. Rather, it’s up to the doctor. Also, if the doctor sends you back to work with restrictions (sometimes called “light duty”), it will be your responsibility to return to work. Even if you think you can’t do anything and even if you think that there is no “light duty” where you work, you still need to return to work.

In most circumstances, you cannot sue your employer. The only recovery you can get must come through workers’ compensation benefits. However – if your injury was caused by someone else that is not your employer or an agent of your employer, you may have a separate claim against that person or company. You should speak with an attorney about that possibility.