According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, employees in the United States suffered almost three million non-fatal injuries and illnesses and nearly 5,000 fatal injuries in the year 2012. That same year, employees were entitled to over $61.8 billion in benefits under workers’ compensation programs, which included disability payments, medical benefits, wage loss compensation and benefits to survivors of deceased workers.
In many of these cases, employees enlisted the expertise of attorneys to ensure that they receive the full benefits to which they were entitled. Our South Jersey workers’ compensation law firm has won millions of dollars for clients after a workplace-related illness or injury. Many of our clients have been unaware of the full extent of their rights to workers’ compensation, so we’ve assembled a basic guide to how you and your employer should proceed after a workplace injury to get the most out of compensation benefits, and to make fighting your case easier should you have to bring it to court.
What Benefits Are You Entitled To?
There is a broad range of benefits that workers might be entitled to after suffering an injury on the job. They include disability and rehab benefits while you are unable to work, medical treatment including physician visits, hospital stays and medication, compensation for life if the injury results in disability and fatality benefits for dependents of an individual who dies as a result of a workplace injury. Workplace-related illnesses—for example, mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure—may also entitle an employee to compensation for resulting health and work issues.
What Should Your Employer Do?
Your employer has certain responsibilities to fulfill in the event that you are injured on the job. After an accident occurs, your injury should be addressed immediately. Your employer should seek medical care for you as soon as possible, including transportation to a medical facility if needed. The accident should be reported by your employer thoroughly and accurately, and in a timely manner—that is, no later than seven days. Your employer’s failure to follow through on these responsibilities may entitle you to compensation.
What Action Should You Take?
In the event that you are injured on the job or suspect that you have a workplace-related illness, there are steps you should take to ensure that you are compensated in full and make any legal action easier for you and your attorney if your case comes to court. Tell your employer you have been injured immediately and specifically request the treatment you need. Keep your paperwork in order: Sign any insurance carrier statements, obtain a copy of the accident report, obtain a claim number and report the incident in detail to your doctor.
If you are hurt and need help, contact us immediately so we can go to work for you. We help injured people get compensation and medical treatment so they can get back to health and their daily activities without having to deal with the insurance companies. For more information and free legal advice, call us at 856-283-0589 to speak with a Gloucester County workers compensation lawyer about your questions or your case. You can also reach us by email at email@example.com.