You have a right to work in a safe workplace, free from danger and injuries. If this right is violated and you’re injured, you may be able to seek out workers’ compensation to cover your costs. The following tips can help:
1. Report everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a minor injury or illness. Get the right forms to make an incident report and do it in a timely manner.
2. Tell the doctor what happened. When you fill out those forms in the office, before you get treated, there should be a check box where you can say that the incident occurred at work. Check it so that you don’t get billed personally.
3. Be sure you’re at an approved medical facility. The last thing you want is to get treatment that should have been covered, but to see your claim denied because you went to the wrong place.
4. Remember that you could be covered, even if you were to blame. For example, if there’s a wet spot on the floor and you slip and fall, your employer may try to tell you that you should have seen the puddle, meaning you’re not covered.
However, experts note that this isn’t always true. You’re typically not covered if it was your fault in more extreme situations, such as if you were horsing around or drinking on the job. You often are covered for normal work activities, even if you contributed to the accident.
All told, be very sure you understand the legal process. If you think you’re being wrongfully denied, be sure you also understand what options you still have to keep fighting for fair compensation.
Source: NY Daily News, “10 things to know about workers’ compensation,” Dona Dezube, accessed Dec. 13, 2016