Rhode Island residents injured in the workplace will likely become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The process for securing these benefits can vary slightly depending on the type and severity of the injury. But injured workers should ensure they complete the following steps to the letter after a workplace injury.
Workers should notify employers of any injuries suffered in the workplace as soon as they become aware of the problem. Workers who do not make employers aware of an injury may jeopardize their workers’ compensation claim. They may also become responsible for allowing a dangerous situation to injure a coworker.
Seek medical treatment
Some workers will skip a trip to the clinic when they feel their injuries are insignificant. But an injury that may not seem severe at the time can cause a worker more problems than they thought possible at a later date. A professional diagnosis is the only sure way to know the extent of an injury.
Workers may also downplay the injuries they receive even after a diagnosis. This habit is especially true for workers who perform jobs with a reputation for toughness. Downplaying injuries to doctors, employers or insurance companies can negatively affect worker’s compensation claims.
Seek legal counsel
Injured workers are not required to hire a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, the many rules and regulations involved with the process make doing so a good idea. An experienced attorney can ensure no procedural missteps damage a claim opportunity. A lawyer could also increase the chances of an injured worker receiving all compensation available to them.
Continue necessary medical treatments
Discontinuing medical treatments before ordered to do so by a doctor is not only bad for the health of an injured worker, but it may also damage their claim. Gaps in medical treatment may lead to an insurance company’s argument that the worker is no longer injured. This argument could mean the end of workers’ compensation benefits.
The workers’ compensation claims process includes a mountain of rules and regulations that can become troublesome for a novice to decipher alone. Individuals with questions about the claims process may benefit from speaking with an attorney.