Workers' compensation is a form of insurance carried by your employer that provides you with benefits in case you are temporarily unable to work. If you have experienced a workplace injury, there are a few things you should know about these benefits:
You should seek medical attention immediately
The reason for this is that in order to qualify for workers' compensation your injury must have occurred at work. Of course, if you are immediately aware of an injury, then see a doctor during working hours, there is not likely to be a problem. But not all work related injuries are immediately apparent. When you realize you have been hurt, you may not be at work. By seeing a doctor immediately, you will reduce the chances of being accused of sustaining your injury outside of work.
Never engage in physical activity beyond your injury
Simply put, never do any exercise or physical activity that is inconsistent with your injury. When in doubt, sit it out. The reason for this is that insurance companies and employers are often suspicious of workers' compensation claims, and often will observe workers in public for signs that they are faking or exaggerating their claims of injury. Fraud is a big problem with workers' compensation claims, so you do not want to give an insurance company any excuse to deny your claim. If your claim has been approved, you still want to be careful during the time you are collecting your benefits. Your benefits can be stopped.
You may need an attorney
Although you may not need an attorney to file for workers' compensation, you should consult with one at the first sign of trouble. This may be during the application process when one or more employees are not backing up your story. Sometimes a fellow worker will feel spiteful, not liking the idea that you will be at home collecting benefits for an injury. They may feel you are not that hurt. An attorney can be helpful in this situation. Your employer and the insurance company can also challenge your claim in several ways. The most obvious way is to reject your claim. An attorney in this situation is indispensable. But even from the beginning, if you anticipate a problem, you should consult an attorney.
Workers' compensation is an important benefit to employees, and if you are entitled to it, by all means take advantage the insurance. However, keep in mind that just because you are entitled to the benefit does not mean you will have no problems collecting it. Always document your injury with a trip to the doctor, avoid physical activity that is outside the scope of your injury and seek legal assistance when necessary.