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On The Job Injury - What You Need To Do If You Suffer An On the Job Injury
By Randy Sieberg, CIC, ARM, CRM

1st - Many injured employees will ignore a serious injury often times not reporting it to the employer for several days. Sometimes an insurance company will deny or delay a valid claim if it is not reported properly to the employer. On-the-job injuries should be reported to the employer as soon as possible following the reporting procedure the employer has outlined for its workers. Prompt reporting will allow the claim to be set up quickly so the insurance company adjuster can begin work managing the injured workers claim.

2nd - Sometimes the injured worker will delay going to an doctor. If an on-the-job injury has been suffered it is very important for the injured worker to follow his/her employers outline of procedures following an injury. The injured worker should be guided by his/her supervisor throughout the reporting process. Keep in mind that prompt medical attention essential.

3rd - The insurance company adjuster will quickly contact the injured employee to make sure the claim is progressing properly. Many times the adjuster will need to take a statement from the worker. The injured worker always has the right to seek legal advice concerning his/her claim. However once an injured worker consults with an attorney and establishes an attorney client relationship, the insurance adjuster will no longer work directly with the injured worker but only through their legal advisor.

4th - It is important for the injured worked to follow the guidelines set by the doctor. As an example, say the doctor specifies certain lifting restrictions and these are violated by the injured worker it may result in a loss or reduction of benefits.

5th - The injured employee may be asked to take a drug test right after the injury. In many jurisdictions a failure of this test may result in termination of employment and loss of compensation or, at a minimum, a reduction of benefits. Employees need to refer to their employers handbook in regards their employers written company drug policy.

6th - The injured worker needs to follow procedures outlined by both their employer and the insurance adjuster. Throughout the healing process the injured workers progress will be monitored by their physician and the claims adjuster. Remember the goal is to get the injured worker back to work as soon as possible. Injured workers who are presented with a return to work program need to participate. Again, the goal is to get back to work as soon as possible.

Finally, if an injured worker is not getting the attention required to quickly get back to work they should consult with either their states department of labor, other workers compensation governing body or an attorney for advice on their rights regarding their injury. No one wins when a claim goes bad!

This article is brought to you by WorkCompConsultants.com, an independent workers compensation consulting firm dedicated to helping employers prevent and resolve work comp issues.