Work injury. If you’re like most people, you probably think it will never happen to you, but what if it does? What then? In the unfortunate chance you suffer an injury at work, make sure you’re prepared for the next steps. It could be the difference in receiving your entitled benefits or nothing at all.

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What is a Work Injury?

Let’s first familiarize ourselves with what constitutes a workplace injury. An employee who suffers an injury or illness while doing job-related activities is qualified for workers’ compensation, regardless of who’s at fault, unless the employee works for a railroad. In which case, he or she must prove fault under FELA. You may already be familiar with commonly reported occupational injuries such as back, fall-related, and vehicular-related injuries; however, conditions like carpal tunnel, bursitis, and tendonitis also qualify as workplace injuries if they stem from a repetitive motion done while performing work-related duties. If your injury is work related, follow these three steps when reporting it.  

How to Report a Work Injury

1. Document the Injury 

If possible, use your phone to take photos and videos of your injuries after the accident. Document the injury itself as well as key details such as the location of the incident or machinery if involved. Describe what occurred as accurately and with as much detail as possible in your video. Be sure to avoid embellishments and assumptions in your description. These actions will go a long way in both helping you to fill out your injury report later and proving the accident occurred should your employer dispute your claim for benefits.  

2. Quickly Notify a Supervisor or HR 

Time plays a crucial role in reporting a work injury. Each state has a timeframe in which the employee must report an injury if they want to be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Therefore, it’s vital that you alert a supervisor or HR representative to the situation as quickly as possible. 

Once management is made aware, they will contact their insurance carrier, file a claim with the state workers’ compensation board, and give you a list of approved doctors you can go to for treatment.  

3. File a Written Injury Report 

Once the proper individuals are notified, Human Resources should send you an injury report to fill out. If you haven’t, you can write an official statement or ask your state’s workers’ compensation board for the correct form. Don’t forget to include all the facts when filling out your report. Your documentation from earlier will help. Remember to check to ensure that everything has been filed and that no more action is required on your end.  

While there are only a few steps to reporting a work injury, these three things are critical to achieving the best compensation benefits. Have questions or feel you have not received accurate compensation for a work injury? Foley & Small is ready to help. Click here to start the conversation. 

Your rights, your protection.
The Fair Labor Standards Act safeguards the rights of workers across the US. Learn about important regulations of the FLSA here. Click here to download.