Every year in the United States, about 3 million workers are injured on the job, most while simply completing the regular duties assigned to them. Getting injured at work can be a little intimidating, especially because you depend on your job — and your employer — for your income. It’s not surprising, then, that many people who sustain workplace injuries can be unsure about what steps to take after they’ve been injured on the job.
At Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation in Pembroke Pines, Florida, David Berkower, DO, works closely with injured workers, helping them navigate the workers’ compensation process. If you’ve sustained a workplace injury, here’s a quick review of the first steps you should take when getting ready to submit a claim.
Three important steps to take following a workplace injury
First, if you have an accident or an injury that requires urgent or emergency care, the first thing you should do is seek medical care. Once you’ve gotten that care, there are three things you should do to make sure the workers’ compensation process gets off to a good start.
1. Report the accident
As soon as you can after your injury, report the incident to your employer. Your employer will probably have their own process for submitting your report. Be sure to follow those guidelines, and when filling out the forms, be very clear about when, where, and how the accident or injury happened. After you submit your report, make sure your employer gives you a copy, and keep the copy somewhere safe.
2. Keep good notes
In addition to keeping your accident report, you should also keep good notes about the claims process. Record the time, date, and conversations you have with your employer or their representatives, including any insurance company representatives. Also make note of the names of people who are present during the conversations or interactions.
Furthermore, keep copies of medical reports or other reports as well as copies of any emails you exchange with anyone from your company or their representatives. All of this information could become useful if your workers’ compensation claim winds up being denied.
3. Follow the doctor’s instructions
Dr. Berkower has extensive experience treating workers’ compensation injuries, which means he also has a lot of experience navigating the claims process. After your exam, Dr. Berkower will provide you with instructions regarding your care, including what medications you should take, what therapies you should undergo, and when you can return to work.
It’s very important to follow his instructions carefully for two important reasons. First, following his instructions during treatment will help you recover quicker. Second, if you don’t follow his instructions, it might provide grounds for having your claim denied. If you don’t understand the instructions or you need any type of clarification, call the office. Don’t assume or make guesses.
Workers’ compensation is for more than just traumatic injuries
A lot of people think workplace injuries refer only to traumatic injuries, such as falls, car accidents, or being hit by an object while working. The fact is, many workplace injuries don’t involve an abrupt or acute trauma. Instead, they can be caused by repetitive motions, such as spending long hours bending, lifting heavy objects, or even typing.
Some of the most common workplace injuries include nontraumatic injuries, such as:
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Joint pain
- Hearing loss
Workers’ compensation includes all types of injuries, as long as the injury is related to your work. That’s why, if you have any injury stemming from your job duties, you should file an injury report and schedule an evaluation with Dr. Berkower.
If you’re one of the millions of American workers who winds up getting injured at work this year, workers’ compensation can help ensure you get the medical care you need to restore your health. To learn more about workers’ compensation evaluations, book an appointment online or over the phone with Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation today.