If you have been injured or suffered an illness in the workplace you may soon find that the financial stress that comes along with it can be even worse than the physical pain, but there are ways to prevent these money problems from piling up. The key is to act as fast as possible, while still following all regulations and laws that apply to you and your line of work.
What to Do First
The first thing to do is immediately tell your employer about the incident; any delay in reporting can cause problems later on. You will probably be required to have any medical treatments or examinations performed by a doctor that has been authorized by your employer. This is due to the fact that laws in certain areas require your employer to pay all medical bills incurred from the workplace injury, but this is only the case if you use one of their doctors. If you go it alone and use your own doctor you will most likely be left to pay the bills yourself.
Disability, Unemployment, and Settlements
If you are unable to work for any period of time, you will be entitled to receive temporary disability benefits which are paid weekly until you are able to return. These benefits pay about 70% of whatever your gross weekly pay was at the time you suffered the injury, but there is a maximum amount that varies depending on the state. During this time you cannot apply for unemployment benefits because you are not genuinely looking for work and, if offered a job, you would not be able to work because of your injury or illness.
You may also be eligible to receive a monetary settlement, whether you missed work or not, but you must seek medical treatment and report the incident in a timely manner through all appropriate channels. The amount of money awarded to you will be determined by the severity and expected duration of the injury. Claims for pain and suffering are a little more tricky, so you should ask an attorney about this at the earliest date possible following the incident.
When to Sue
Suing your employer is also an option. If you believe that your employer has placed you in danger or they have failed to live up to their end of the deal then you may have to make a personal injury claim. Contact a law firm such as Slack & Davis if you are considering this option; they have decades of experience with this type of claim and work with clients in many industries. Whether you need a specialist oilfield injury attorney or help with something more general such as burn cases, they can get you what you deserve.
It is important to remember, as mentioned earlier, that timely reporting and an accurate assessment of the situation are critical to the success of your claim. These critical components are even more important if you decide to sue your employer as you will need as much evidence on your side as possible. Your attorney will be able to help you in this regard, and they will try to make the process as easy as possible.