Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury
After the initial accident has occurred, you may have questions:
- “Who will pay my hospital bills?”
- “How can I feed my family when I can’t work?”
- “What does this paperwork mean?”
- “Do I have to see the doctor my employer is telling me to see?”
- “Can my employer fire me if I have a work injury?”
You may feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty, but our work injury lawyers can make this extremely stressful time much easier for you. We will help guide you through the process after a workplace injury.
THE EARLIER YOU CONTACT US, THE FASTER WE CAN HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!
Here are the steps you need to take after you are injured at work:
Step 1. Report the Injury
Notify a supervisor immediately after you are injured at work. It does not need to be your direct supervisor. In Illinois, notice may be as simple as telling a supervisor, or it may be in writing. If you do not report the incident within 45 days, you may forfeit your right to file a workers’ compensation claim.
In Missouri, the notice should be within 30 days and in writing. Properly document the workplace accident by including in your report the date and place of the accident and a brief description of the accident and resulting injury.
Step 2. Seek Medical Attention
Once your employer is notified, they are required to ensure you receive all of the necessary medical attention. Even if you are unsure that you need medical attention, you should still see a doctor. There are many instances where you do not know the full extent of your injuries because your body’s natural response after an accident is fueled with adrenaline. In Illinois, you should go immediately to your choice of medical provider (primary care physician or hospital). In Missouri, you must go to the doctor your employer directs you to see.
Step 3: Inform the Doctor About the Circumstances
Make sure that you tell the doctor that the injury occurred at work so it will be documented properly in your medical notes. Insurance companies will often try to deny workplace injury claims if the medical notes do not include that it was a work injury. Once you tell the doctor it is a work-related injury, they should send any and all correspondence about billing directly to your employer for payment.
Step 4: Ensure Your Employer Submits a Report
In addition to notifying their insurance company, employers must submit a report to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission or the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. The report should contain your personal information and information about the accident, including when and where the accident took place, what you were doing at the time of the accident, how the accident occurred, and the injuries you sustained because of the accident.
Step 5. Hire an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When it comes to workplace injuries, hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is a must! Your workers’ compensation attorney needs to be familiar with all of the complexities of Illinois and/or Missouri workers’ comp rules and regulations.