Data compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that there are approximately 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries each year. If you are one of the workers who is injured in an accident, it is common to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to proceed.
It is important in these situations, however, to make sure that you follow the steps necessary to keep yourself safe and protect your right to pursue benefits under the New Jersey workers’ compensation law. The following will review some of the steps that you should make sure to follow if you or a loved one is injured while at work.
Receive Medical Care as Soon as Possible
It is important to place your health first. If you are involved in a work accident and incurred injuries as a result, you should not hesitate to seek medical care. With more severe injuries, you might not have the time to first tell your employer about your injuries before getting medical care.
Whenever possible, however, you should make sure to inform your employer about any injuries incurred in a work accident so that the employer can help you determine where and how to receive medical care.
In many cases, an employer will have procedures in place to respond when a worker is injured. If your employer has requirements about how to proceed following an accident, it is a wise idea to follow these regulations because refusing to comply can create obstacles in obtaining workers’ compensation.
Inform Your Employer About the Accident
The law in New Jersey requires a worker who is injured in a workplace accident to notify the employer about the accident within 14 days. Many workers are able to show that an employer was notified about an accident and collect benefits within a period of 30 days following an accident.
The type of notice made to an employer about a workplace accident need not be written. Instead, a worker can verbally inform an employer about an accident and still satisfy this requirement. When doing this it is best to maintain some form of documentation that the report was made.
Seek Authorized Medical Worker
After many workplace accidents, an injured worker will only be allowed to see a medical provider that the employer chooses. If you refuse to do so, your claim for compensation might be denied because of your unauthorized treatment. Some of the types of activities that can constitute unauthorized treatment include seeing your family physician, a specialist without an authorized referral, or any type of physician that was not authorized by an employer.
While it is understandable that in some situations you might need to see one of these doctors, this type of medical care will likely not be covered by workers’ compensation. If you do visit an unauthorized medical provider, it might still be possible to pursue compensation through a lawsuit.
Speak with an Experienced Accident Attorney Today
When workplace accidents occur, it is also often a wise idea to speak with a knowledgeable accident lawyer. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to schedule a free initial consultation.