It is critical to act quickly after an accident at work. You have only a limited amount of time to report the injury and file your claim. If it turns out that your injury was not that serious, you can choose to dismiss the claim later. On the other hand, if you decide to wait and see whether your condition improves on its own, you may miss the filing and reporting deadlines.
The following are important steps to take after a workplace injury.
- Obtain medical treatment
Some employers require you to see a designated health care office for work comp claims or employ an on-site provider. Other employers allow you to choose your own physician. Find out what the rules of your workplace require before seeing a doctor. Otherwise, this could affect your workers’ comp benefits.
If your employer allows you to choose your own doctor, make sure you inform the provider that your injury is work-related. This information, plus the name of your employer, will help with billing matters.
When receiving treatment, make sure that you follow your doctor’s instructions. Failure to do so can slow your treatment course. It can also prevent full recovery.
- Report the injury
In North Carolina, you must provide written notice to your employer of your work-related injury. Fortunately, state law allows you 30 days in which to do this. Your written notice does not have to be long or detailed. A brief description and date of the accident are sufficient.
Before submitting a written notice, however, it is also a good idea to verbally inform your manager that you have sustained a work-related injury as soon as possible. That way, your manager knows to expect your written notice.
- File for workers’ compensation
You have a limited time following your workplace injury to file your claim. Also, you cannot start collecting benefits until after you have filed your claim. Therefore, it is not in your best interest to put it off.
The filing process can be complicated, and a mistake can lead to delays or a denial of your claim. You don’t have to face this process alone. Learn about your options.