If you are injured at work, it can seem as if the whole world is crashing down on you. This is particularly true if you find you are not able to work as a result of the severity of the injuries. The good news is that help is available in these cases. In this article we will consider seven solid recommendations for protecting yourself and your family if you were injured while at work.
Recommendation One – Inform Your Superior to Start Filing A Worker’s Comp Claim
You need to start by notifying your employer (boss or supervisor) what has happened. This is how you begin the process of receiving a worker’s compensation claim. It is important to make yourself copies of all turned in forms and letters in writing so that you have a complete set of records. Also you need to move quickly so that there is no unnecessary delay in getting this compensation started.
While you could let your employer know verbally about your injury, it is always better to do it in writing. Some of the states actually require that you give your notice of injury in writing, so be safe and do so. It is also critical to be aware that you are working on a limited time clock. Some of the states only allow short deadlines for filing the worker’s comp claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. In other words, you ought to immediately file your claim to make sure that you do not forfeit any legal rights that you have to obtain the benefits from worker’s comp from your employer. You should finally seek immediate medical care in the event that your illness or injury requires it.
Recommendation Two – If Another Employee is Responsible for Your Injury, Consider Contacting an Attorney
When someone else hurts you at work, you do not have to just settle for the worker’s comp claim. You may have a legal case for a negligence lawsuit. This is the point where you want to contact a workplace personal injury attorney to evaluate your particular case. Most of them will provide you with a no cost evaluation and many of them will work on a contingency basis if they like your chances. In such cases, you only pay them out of your judgment or settlement.
Recommendation Three – Determine From Your Boss If You Require A Note For Missed Work
Legal website Nolo.com counsels you to let your boss know as soon as possible how many weeks or months you anticipate being out from work. This could require that you turn in a physician’s note to your employer as soon as possible. If this is a workplace injury, you will likely initially be treated by the company’s doctor. State laws will determine whether or not you have any say over this.
Some states will give you the right to go to your own doctor when you make such a request in writing as the injury occurs. Usually though, employers will refer the injured employee to a doctor that they have chosen and will pay. You are generally only required to visit the company’s doctor for a maximum period of 30 days. At this point you can pick out your own doctor if you wish to change.
Recommendation Four – Tally Your Sick, Personal, and Vacation Days
Many (if not most) employers are not going to pay you while you are not working even when you were injured on the job. That is what the worker’s comp benefits are for after all. If you have accrued sick days, personal days, or vacation though, you may be able to use those to keep money coming in for a few weeks or even months. Worker’s comp benefits will not replace your full salary generally, so this can be most helpful to keep at least some money coming in from the office even while you are at home unable to work.
Recommendation Five – Check On Your Eligibility for FMLA 12 Weeks Leave Time
When you work for over a year for a corporation or firm that employees over 50 people, you gain some protection under the federal laws known as the Family Medical Leave Act. This provides you with a full 12 weeks of leave from work and keeps your job for your return. The downside is that it will not make the company to pay you in this time.
For those who work for a company with at least 15 employees, they are mandated to accommodate you during your injury so that you can still work. They may have to offer you a greater amount of time off than usual, special equipment, or varying working hours. You can also ask if you can work from home during your recovery. It is easier than ever for employees to accomplish their jobs while away from the office nowadays.
Recommendation Six – Consider an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits
In some cases, it may emerge that you can not ever go back to work because of the severity of your injuries. In these cases, you can apply for Social Security disability. The amount in benefits that you could receive would be directly based upon how much you have paid into the system through your earnings. Applying does not guarantee being accepted, but it is worth the effort anyway.
In several states like Rhode Island, California, New York, Hawaii, and New Jersey, the states themselves run temporary disability insurance benefits that can help you while injured. Each of the states is different, but these programs will do a partial wage replacement ranging from six to 12 months time. You should also check to see if your employer paid for short term or long term disability insurance on your behalf. In this case, the privately based insurance generally pays between 50 percent and 80 percent of your gross salary per month to the point you are able to work once more. Check in immediately with your human resources department in case you have this ERISA and can start filing a claim straight away.
Recommendation Seven – Look Into Programs That Can Help You With Mortgage and Credit Card Payments
There are a few programs that can help you when you are injured and can not make your monthly mortgage and credit card payments. The Federal government has its loan modification programs which can assist with the home mortgage payments. You can also directly call your mortgage lender to inquire concerning the Home Affordable Modification Program. This would allow you to potentially modify your mortgage payments rather than go into default.
If you are ready to get legal help with your workplace injury, you can contact Murphy’s Law Personal Injury Lawyers today. We are standing by, ready to assist you with your claims.