What Happens When I Am Injured On The Job?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those in the janitorial profession have a higher rate of injury and illness than the national average. Workplace injuries can happen to anyone at any time. Some professions, however, involve repetitive and physical labor. Cleaning professionals are a great example of this. The repeated movements and strenuous labor involved in cleaning can cause injuries that can be minor or severe or somewhere in between. Some of the most common types of injuries that would pertain to the cleaning industry include:
Nerve and tendon damage
Neck, back and shoulder injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you have suffered a work-related injury, then it is important to know what steps to take in the aftermath of such injury. Taking proper action immediately following the injury will help to ensure you receive proper care and treatment during your recovery. So, what are the steps you should take after being injured while on the job? The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has some helpful suggestions regarding what you should do after you’ve suffered a workplace injury and they include the following steps.
Seek Medical Care
The first thing you should do after suffering a workplace injury is to seek medical care as soon as you can. A common mistake many people make is failing to see a doctor immediately. They wait until the pain from the injury is unbearable, which could be weeks or months later. Do not make that mistake. If you are worried about who will pay for your care, don’t be. Your employer will pay for the care you receive as a result of the workplace injury. Therefore, you can make an appointment with your doctor or if it is an emergency you can visit the emergency room. You will need documentation of your injury provided by your doctor when filing a workers’ compensation case so it is essential that you be treated as soon as possible.
Inform Your Employer
You must notify your employer as soon as possible after the injury occurs. You will need to explain how and when the injury happened. In most states, you have a limited amount of time to notify your employer of an injury. Failure to do so in a timely manner could result in you being unable to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a Claim
You must complete a claim form and mail it to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board. Since this can be a confusing process, you may do well to consult with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about workers’ compensation law. Failure to file the correct forms in a timely manner could result in lost workers’ compensation benefits.
As previously mentioned, anyone can be injured while on the job. But, it is what you do after the fact that will determine if you will qualify for workers’ compensation. Just remember that time is of the essence. Be proactive and seek the advice of an experienced attorney to help you through the process so that you do not miss out on valuable workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re injured, you want to be able to focus on getting better and you will be able to do that when you contact a knowledgeable attorney who can shoulder the burden for you and get you the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Brian Mittman is a managing partner at The Disability Guys, P.C. He is experienced in workers comp, social security, and personal injury law.