Ten Things You Need To Know If You Have a Work Injury:
1) You should report any injury immediately to your supervisor or other person of authority. Don’t just shrug it off and assume it will go away. If you are a member of a Union, you should also advise your Union Representative.
2) You must report your work injury within 120 days of the date that you were injured, or you could be forever barred from filing a claim.
3) If you report your injury within 21 days of the date of injury, and you lose more than 14 days from work, you will be entitled to wage loss benefits starting from the date of the injury.
4) After you report an injury, your employer or its workers’ compensation carrier, has 21 days to either accept your injury as work-related, issue a denial or place you on temporary benefits while further investigating your claim.
5) If your employer pays the medical bills for treatment of your injury, this alone does not mean that you have an open Workers’ Compensation claim.
6) If your employer wants to control what doctor you treat with, it must post a list of designated medical providers for you to choose from if you are injured at work. Your employer must also have you sign a form when you start your employment, and again after you are injured, that acknowledges that you were provided with this list of doctors. If these requirements are not met, then you can treat with any doctor of your own choice. You also have an absolute right to choose which provider on the list that you want to see. Your employer cannot require you to see one specific provider on its list.
7) As a general rule, Workers’ Compensation benefits are paid at the rate of approximately 2/3 of what you were earning on average per week before your injury. If you have more than one job at the time of your injury, the wages from all of your jobs are considered when determining your workers’ compensation benefit rate.
8) An employee cannot sue an employer for “pain and suffering”.
9) An employee who contracts a disease through employment is also entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.
10) An employee who aggravates a preexisting condition at work may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits if the aggravation causes a wage loss or requires medical care.