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A work injury can be a staggering event for you and your family. It may cause you to miss work, limit your ability to enjoy your daily life, and rack up medical debt. It may even leave you uncertain about your future in your career.
Fortunately, in the case of workplace injuries caused as a result of industry hazards and not your own negligence, you can receive workers’ compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. It’s important to know how to properly report a work injury and record the accident in writing so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Why You Need To Know How To Report a Work Injury
No one expects a work injury, and they often feel as though they happen at the least opportune moments. If you don’t know how to file a work injury incident report, you may find yourself frustrated having to learn after the injury has occurred. It can add to the stress and uncertainty that your work injury has already occurred. If you know how to report a work injury before the injury occurs, it will save you some headaches. It will also help you resolve the issue and receive compensation sooner.
Tips For Alerting Your Employer of a Work-Related Injury
Transparency, timeliness, and communication are key when it comes to work injuries. Don’t try to tough it out and keep working. These steps will help you report your work injury on time and in the proper manner so you can receive the compensation you need as soon as possible.
Always Report Your Accident On Time
One of the first questions people wonder when it comes to reporting a work injury is, “How long do you have to report an injury at work?” The answer can vary from state to state. In Virginia, you need to report the injury within 30 days of the accident or the doctor’s visit following the accident. Your employer then has 10 days to report the incident to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, you can file your own claim with the WCC in order to further protect your rights.
Provide Specific and Relevant Details About Your Work-Related Incident
When filing your work-related incident report, you want to be as specific as possible. Report how the incident occurred, what caused the incident in the first place, and how you were affected as a result. If your workplace can claim not to be liable for your injury, they or their insurance carriers can deny your claim of workers’ compensation. Your work injury report form should prove the way you were affected by the incident and that the injury was not through your own negligence.
Be Honest About Your Symptoms and Medical Care Needed
In the face of a job injury, many employees try to downplay their symptoms and conditions. You may fear being turned down for workers’ compensation and losing your income while you recover. If your employer has been shown not to express much care for employees, you may feel that it’s better to leave out some of the worst symptoms for fear of retaliation.
But downplaying your symptoms on your accident report form and lying about the medical care you required can deeply damage your workers’ compensation report. If you are too worried about inconveniencing your employer, you may not receive the compensation you need, landing you in a dire financial situation. Work with workers’ compensation attorneys to ensure the compensation process goes smoothly and justly, but be honest about the severity of your injury.
Reach Out To Your Workers’ Compensation Carrier
Businesses will ultimately look out for their own interests first. That’s why it’s important that injured workers take steps to protect their rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Besides reporting work-related accidents to your employer, file a compensation claim with your workers’ compensation carrier yourself. This will add a level of security by ensuring that you’re not relying on your employer to do the right thing.
This is an especially important step to take if you’ve filed your report with your employer and it seems that nothing is happening. Follow up with your employer to nudge them in the right direction, and if that fails, file the workers’ compensation case with the right insurance carriers yourself.
Keep Track of Your Medical Treatments and Expenses
Medical treatments for a workplace injury may go beyond the initial work-related hospitalization. You may need follow-up trips to the doctor or you may be prescribed medication to help manage your symptoms while you recover. Make sure that every time you face another expense as a result of your work-related injury, you track that expense. This will help you to be as honest and thorough as possible in your workplace incident report.
Have You Reported Your Work Injury But Nothing's Happening? Here's What To Do Next.
There are industry hazards in almost any job, but you shouldn’t have to suffer financial uncertainty after a work injury. If you’ve reported your work injury, but have not heard anything about your compensation coverage, it’s time to take the next steps to protect your rights. That may mean filing a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Most importantly, you need to hire workers’ compensation attorneys who will defend you against any obstacle between you and your right to benefits.
Commonwealth Law Group has been in practice since 2014. Our founding partners specialize in helping injured workers, and they brought that heart and that expertise of workers’ compensation laws to their firm. When you’re injured at work, overwhelmed by the prospect of all the paperwork ahead of you, or worried that your workers’ compensation claim is being ignored, we can help. We can help walk you through workers’ compensation mediation so you can settle the case or defend your right to compensation should that fall through.
Contact Commonwealth Law Group today to learn more about our services or to schedule a free case consultation.
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.