Most people understand that accidents are just an unfortunate part of life. When those accidents happen at work, there are measures in place to ensure injured workers get the medical care they need – while also protecting employers. These measures give both employers and employees a certain peace of mind. Knowing that medical care is available offers reassurance, but it can also leave you with a few questions.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be wondering, “Should I file a worker’s comp claim?” While you can always ask your employer, there are also some rules of thumb to follow. It’s always best to have an idea of the rules that should be followed to make things easy on yourself. If you’ve ever experienced an injury at work that left you asking yourself, “Should I file a worker’s comp claim?” you are not alone. Here’s what you need to know.
When to File a Claim
On the job injuries affect everyone. They happen in every industry and some more than others. Even if you work in a relatively ‘safe’ industry, like foodservice or clothing sales, injuries can still occur. It only takes one wrong move to send someone to the emergency room. What if the injury isn’t that apparent?
Perhaps you’ve bent down wrong and now have a terrible pain in your back that prevents you from finishing the day at work. Perhaps someone has closed a door on your hand, and you suspect a couple of fingers may be broken. Would you be left wondering, “Should I file a worker’s comp claim?”
The answer is this. Any on the job injury that requires more than self-rendered first aid treatment should be filed as a worker’s comp claim. Not every worker’s comp claim requires a trip to the emergency room. Any medical treatment rendered for which an invoice will be generated should be filed as a worker’s comp claim.
Each state has their own rules and regulations that govern the local worker’s comp industry. This also includes their own reporting deadlines for worker’s comp injuries. Some states have a deadline as liberal as 2 years while other states are as strict as 5 days. Whatever the deadline in your state, it’s always best to report on the job injuries immediately.
Delayed reporting of an on the job injury negatively impacts the business and can prevent your injury from being covered by worker’s comp insurance. Reporting injuries immediately ensures you get the necessary medical care you need quickly and help prevent others from suffering the same injuries. It also ensures the business you work for pays reasonable rates for the worker’s comp insurance that will cover your injury which leaves more money for payroll.
Immediate Reporting is Best
No matter what industry you’re employed in or what type of on the job injury you suffer, it’s always best to report your injury to your supervisor immediately. Don’t wait around wondering, “Should I file a worker’s comp claim?” Follow the rules of thumb. If your injury requires more than self-administered aid or requires care that you’ll be billed for, then it should be claimed under worker’s comp insurance. The sooner you report and get the medical attention you require, the better. It’s better for you, better for your boss, and better for the business who employs you.