Anyone that is injured while on the job shouldn't have to pay for their recovery out of their own pocket. That's what workers' compensation insurance is for, with many states making it mandatory to have this type of insurance for your workplace. Workers' compensation is like an additional insurance policy that covers your medical bills, lost wages, and permanent damages related to your work-related injury. Here are some things to know about using workers' compensation to ensure it goes smoothly for you.
You Must Report The Injury
It's important to always report your injuries as soon as they happen to a workplace supervisor. Even if you let somebody know about the accident by telling them in person, it's important to have it somewhere in writing as well. This is best done in the form of an email since it verifies who was contacted and the date they received the notice. Not reporting the injury within the required time period after the injury can result in you being unable to collect workers' compensation, resulting in you paying for the injury out of your pocket.
You Must Work With An Approved Doctor
Even if you have been going to your primary care physician for years, it is important that you use the provided list of doctors for treating the injuries for your workers' compensation claim. The best way to think of it is that workers' compensation is like its own insurance policy with its own network of doctors. You must visit a doctor in the network, or your visit will be rejected and you'll end up paying for it out of pocket.
You Must Document All Your Expenses
The only way for workers' compensation to pay for your medical expenses is if you document them. This means keeping track of everything that you pay for out of your own pocket that is related to your injury. This can include durable medical goods, such as crutches. You may need to purchase an over-the-counter or prescription medication to help treat pain. You will even have mileage and parking costs associated with visiting the doctor. All of these things can be reimbursed, but you need to keep the receipts to prove how much you spent.
Make sure to reach out to the person at your workplace that handles workers' compensation claims if you have questions about what to do. They also want to ensure that things go smoothly so that you can return back to work.