It’s not a big surprise that if you work a job that requires physical labor, you are more likely to suffer an injury at work. In 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who suffered the highest rate of workplace injuries included nursing assistants, tractor-trailer drivers, construction workers and those who handle shipping, freight and materials.
So, if you are a construction worker who tears your rotator cuff while framing a home or a nursing assistant whose back goes out after lifting patients, you need to know what to do when you suffer a workplace injury.
Suffering a workplace injury
The first thing to understand is that in New Jersey, all employers not covered by federal programs must have workers’ compensation coverage. So, if you suffer an injury at work, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. You also are eligible for workers’ compensation if your work duties led to an injury, such as repetitive movements causing severe back or shoulder pain. Even if you inadvertently caused your workplace injury, you most likely are eligible for workers’ compensation.
Your first step after suffering an injury at work is to report your injury to your employer right away. You also need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. For your workers’ compensation claim, you will need to provide documentation of how serious your injury is and what your treatment plan is. Employers will require that you see a specific medical provider to assess your work injury or receive treatment for it.
Once your employer files for workers’ compensation benefits for you, their insurance provider will assess your claim. The insurance provider should let you know within a few days of your injury if your workers’ compensation benefits have been approved or denied.
Problems with a workers’ compensation claim
If your workers’ compensation benefits have been denied, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney. You also should consult an attorney if recovering from your injury will require you to be out of work for an extended time or you suffer a permanent disability after a workplace accident. You want to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injury.
You shouldn’t have to worry about how you will pay your medical costs and other bills after a workplace injury. With the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you can receive the workers’ compensation benefits you need to focus on your recovery and move forward with your life.