Do you know what to do if you are injured at work? Depending on where you work, there may be a specific program in place to help prevent work-related injuries. Even so, once an accident does occur, it’s important that you follow proper protocol for reporting it as well as protecting yourself.
If you experience an injury on the job, one of the most important steps you can take is to report the injury. Although this might seem fairly obvious, far too frequently, many people fail to report workplace injuries when they do not require immediate medical attention. If you fail to report a workplace injury immediately, your employer could deny you the medical treatment as well as the benefits to which you are entitled. Following the proper steps for reporting an accident can help you to avoid many potential problems in the future.
Along with your employer denying you benefits and payment for medical treatment if you fail to report an on-the-job injury, you may also face questions from your workers’ compensation insurance carrier as to why the accident was not reported in a timely manner.
If you are injured at work in New Jersey, you are entitled to three specific workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits are medical treatment provided by your employer, a money award in the event of permanent injury, and temporary disability benefits.
Failure to report an injury at work at the time it occurs could result in your employer claiming the injury occurred outside of work. It’s not uncommon for employers to have strict deadlines for employees to report work-related injuries. For instance, some employers require injuries to be reported within 24 hours of the incident occurring. Along with possibly being denied benefits, you could also face a formal reprimand for failing to follow company policy and reporting an accident.
The best course of action is to report all incidents to your employer at the time they occur, even if you believe you are not seriously injured. When possible, the incident should be reported in writing or at least in the presence of a witness. Union members should also report all injuries to their union representatives. Your employer and/or union may have a specific form that should be used for reporting injuries.
Under New Jersey law, workers injured on the job are allowed up to 90 days to report injuries in most situations. It should be kept in mind that employers may impose much shorter internal deadlines. If you are not aware of your company’s policies regarding work-related injury reports, be sure to apprise yourself of these guidelines to ensure your rights are protected in the event of an injury at work.
If you are injured at work, you may also wish to contact an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation cases. Call for an appointment to learn more about the steps you should take following a workplace injury and how you can make sure your rights are protected.