When we think of on-the-job injuries, we usually think of catastrophic things like falls at a construction site or an accident at a factory. However, the category of workplace injuries can encompass things like hearing loss from loud noises, diminished eyesight from poor lighting or medical issues that arise from prolonged sitting or typing. You might consider some of these problems just part of the job, but as an employee you have the right to ask for workers' compensation when you're injured at work.
If you do feel as if you've been injured as a result of negligence or some unsafe condition at work, you might be wondering how to get workers' compensation to help pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation or job retraining. Here's how the process typically works:
- As soon as possible, let your employer know about the injury. It's best to do this in writing so there is a record of it.
- You will be asked to fill out a workers' compensation claim form, which you should do to the best of your ability. Ensure that you have a copy of the claim for future reference.
- The claim should be filed as soon as possible for two reasons: sometimes there are time limits for reporting injuries and the sooner you file, the sooner you can get your benefits.
Even if you do everything outlined here, there are times when employers or insurers will deny your workers' compensation claim. If that happens, you'll want to consider contacting an attorney who specializes in employee rights. He or she may be able to help you get the benefits you deserve.