Work accidents are all too common. Whether it's a fall on a construction site, a back injury at a warehouse or a truck accident, every job has risks for workplace injury. If you’ve been injured on the job in New Jersey or New York, you have a right to not only medical treatment but also a right to workers’ compensation benefits that cover medical bills and lost wages.
5 Tips: What to Do After a Work Accident
You have the right to file a claim for benefits after suffering a work-related injury; however, the process of actually obtaining benefits can be challenging. To protect your claim and fair compensation, follow these 5 tips for what to do after a work accident:
- Report the accident as soon as possible
- Seek immediate medical care
- Document your financial losses
- Don't downplay your injuries
- Take the time you need to heal
#1: Report Your Accident As Soon as Possible
In New Jersey, you can wait up to 90 days to notify your employer of an at-work injury after it happens if you have a good reason for not speaking up sooner. Typically, employers are notified 14 days after the injury occurs. It’s absolutely critical to notify your employer right away. After you inform your employer, they should inform their workers compensation insurance carrier.
#2: Seek Immediate Medical Care
When a serious accident occurs, medical care should be immediate. For injuries and illnesses that develop over time, seeing a doctor is also important. Don’t assume the illness or injury will just go away or think you can wait it out. By seeking out medical treatment, you are not only taking care of your injuries but also creating documentation and evidence which will make it easier to secure workers’ compensation benefits.
#3: Start Recording and Documenting Your Financial Losses
Work injuries can create a financial strain. Not only do you have mounting medical bills but also you may be missing out on income because you can’t work. Start documenting and keeping a record of your financial losses including the cost of medical co-pays, medication and medical devices. You should document the time and location of doctor and therapy visits.
#4: Don’t Downplay Your Injuries
It’s human nature to many people to downplay the pain you are experiencing or withhold details about all of the symptoms you may be experiencing. After a work accident it’s important to be honest and fully communicate the effects of your injuries and any symptoms to doctors and employers.
#5: Take the Time You Need to Heal
Some workers may feel guilty about missing work after an injury or illness and try to get back to work too quickly. Returning to work too quickly after the work accident could cause you to lose out on benefits too early. You may think you’re feeling up to it and quickly realize you aren’t ready. Take the recommended time to heal to protect yourself from further injury or delayed progress.
Most workers qualify for workers compensation benefits after a work accident. In cases of serious injury, the process of receiving benefits and fair compensation for your injury can be tricky. Insurance adjusters may devalue your claim or downplay the severity of your injury. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can represent your best interest to make sure you get the benefits you need to recover from your injury and get back to your life.
Brandon J. Broderick, Workers Compensation Lawyers
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their workers’ compensation cases. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you have suffered an illness or injury at work, contact us immediately to understand your options.