An employee sustains an injury on the job every seven seconds, states the National Safety Council, and you may be one of the many employees injured at work every year. Depending on the extent of your workplace injury, you may need extensive medical care, rehabilitation and financial support to recover and get back to work.
Workers’ compensation benefits can help you obtain the medical treatment and compensation you require to recover from your injury. To ensure you maintain your rights to these benefits, there are several steps you must take after the accident occurs.
- Seek medical assistance
Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room if the injury is serious. Once you arrive at the hospital, let the medical staff know that the injury happened because of a job-related accident. If you do not need emergency treatment after the accident, go see a doctor who can help you treat the injury.
- Notify your employer
Let your employer know about the accident and the injury you sustained as soon as you can. Even if your illness or injury developed on a gradual basis, notify your employer as soon as possible. By reporting your injury quickly, you can prevent problems or delays receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
- File a claim
Once your employer knows about the injury, he or she must provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form one day after notification, states the State of California Department of Industrial Relations. You should only fill out the “employee” section of the form, making sure to properly sign and date where needed, and then return the document to your employer as soon as you can.
Make sure you copy this form and save it for your personal records. Know that if you do not submit the claim back to your employer, you put your rights to workers’ compensation benefits at risk.