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An employer's responsibilities after a workplace injury

When an employee suffers an injury in the line of his or her work, that person's employer bears a number of responsibilities to ensure the injury receives proper treatment and that the employee can reasonably recover from the injury and possibly return to work. From the position of the employee, it is not always easy to know exactly what to expect from an employer, especially in circumstances where an employee may not trust an employer to uphold his or her end of the arrangement.

An employer's responsibilities to his or her employees do not arise spontaneously when an injury occurs. Rather, the employer carries an ongoing responsibility to provide employees with a reasonably safe workplace and to immediately address any worksite hazards that may cause injuries. If employers do not properly maintain a safe work environment or address a hazard once it is brought to their attention, they have already failed their duties to their employees.

When injuries do occur on the job, employers must make sure to generate a First Report of Injury that documents the injury and sends it to their workers' compensation insurance provider. The employer should also not interfere with an employee's efforts to seek emergency treatment for an injury, although an insurer may object to using some medical care providers over others.

If you believe that your employer did not uphold his or her responsibilities to you after a workplace injury, or if you suspect that your workers' compensation coverage is insufficient, you should consult with an attorney. An attorney with experience navigating workers' compensation claims and other issues surrounding workplace injuries can help you assess your options and build legal strategies that protect your rights and your recovery.

Source: FindLaw, "Handling a Claim: Employer and Employee Responsibilities," accessed Jan. 05, 2018

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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