If you're suffering from a musculoskeletal disorder, such as a back injury, due to a work-related accident, you're not alone. Unfortunately, if you don't take the proper steps after your injuries, you can lose your rights to worker's compensation benefits. Taking the steps described below will help ensure that you receive the benefits you're entitled to.
Report the Injury as Soon as Possible
If you've been injured on the job and you haven't reported it yet, you need to take care of that as soon as possible. Each state has a specific time frame in which you must report your accident. In that state of California, you have 30 days from the date of injury to inform your employer. Failing to do so causes you to forfeit your right to compensation. For maximum protection, write a statement describing the incident and provide it to your employer when you go in to report your injury.
Obtain a Copy of Your Employer's Report
Once you inform your employer about the injury, they'll have to fill out a report and submit it to their worker's compensation insurance provider. Be sure to request a copy of the report. This will allow you to see what was reported so that you can dispute any incorrect information, if necessary. If you have a worker's compensation attorney, you should provide them with a copy of the report. If your employer fails to file a report with the insurance company, you should talk to your attorney as soon as possible.
Keep in Contact with Your Union Representative
If you belong to a union, it's important that you report the incident to your union representative and shop steward. Your union representative will help ensure that your case is handled properly within the company. This is particularly beneficial if your employer should try to force you out of your job due to your injuries. It's also important that you inform your attorney if your employer tries to force you out of your job.
Get Doctor's Orders in Writing
When it comes to your doctor's orders, make sure you get all of them in writing, especially those dealing with work restrictions. Provide a copy of all orders your doctor gives you. This will ensure that those orders are followed.
If you've been injured on the job, don't take chances with your worker's compensation benefits. The information provided here will help prevent problems that could affect your case. For questions or concerns, be sure to speak to a worker's compensation attorney at a law firm such as Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP as soon as possible.