Your job is your livelihood, helping you to take care of yourself, your family, and your obligations. It keeps food on the table, pays your bills, and allows you to enjoy your favorite pastimes. You never imagined the impact an illness or injury in the workplace could have on your life. If you are unable to work or earn your regular wages, everything can be at risk. You have rights as an employee. If your injury or illness was caused by someone or something at the workplace, you deserve compensation. Find out what you need to do to protect yourself.
If your injury or illness can be blamed on your job, a written report of the incident needs to be filed promptly. If you are physically able to do so, immediately complete the report. Your human resources department may be able to assist you. Otherwise, you can discuss the matter with management or your employer. Ask for the proper paperwork. Complete it yourself or ask someone to fill in your answers as you dictate them. You need to add your signature to the form. If you are physically unable to complete your report at the time of your injury or illness due to its severity, submit the paperwork as soon as you are able. This documentation will help you to begin the compensation process. It will also ensure that your employer is held accountable for neglect, the fault of a co-worker, or dangerous conditions. This information can be used on your behalf if you need to file for an L&I settlement.
Your personal well-being needs to be your priority after a workplace injury or illness occurs. You are sure to be concerned about time out from work, lost wages, and medical expenses. Don’t let these concerns override your personal needs. You need to take take care of yourself. It’s important that you are seen right away by a healthcare provider. If your injury or illness is severe, request an ambulance at work. If you are able to leave your job, ask a co-worker or superior to take you to the doctor or hospital. You need to prove that you did not aggravate the situation by taking matters into your own hands. Prompt treatment can make a difference in your rate of recovery. You will also have additional documentation about your condition that can be submitted to your employer or an attorney.
Once you have reported your injury and received medical treatment, the next step will be workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is established to provide you with a range of benefits, including partial payment of your wages while you are out of work as well as your medical bills. Workers’ compensation may include disability payments if your injuries or repercussions from an illness were extensive. Your workers’ compensation claim can also help you to cover physical rehabilitation expenses when necessary.
If you are fortunate, you will have an employer who works on your behalf to simplify the workers’ compensation process. However, you may run into difficulties. Your employer may not acknowledge any fault or blame on the part of the company. Your efforts to seek workers’ compensation may be blocked or delayed. In the most extreme cases, you may be let go from your job. If your rights have been violated after a workplace injury or illness, turn to a legal professional to assist you. Work with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation cases to have the best outcome. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, collect documentation, and file your claim. In some cases, working with a lawyer may help you to receive a large settlement to make up for your pain and suffering.
You could not anticipate a workplace injury or illness. The most important thing you need to do is look out for yourself. Take every step to get the compensation that is owed to you through workers’ compensation. Your employer should stand by you as a valued employee. If you don’t get the support you need, find an attorney who will fight for you.