When you are seriously injured on the job, your health and your workers’ comp claim depend on your actions. You may need medical treatment. You may need compensation to make up for your lost wages. Don’t endanger these two essential needs: follow through with these five steps to give yourself the best chance of a good recovery.
- Report your injury immediately: You should tell your employer what happened at once. Give details, including how the injury was an unusual event. Most injuries are only covered by workers’ comp if there was an accident. An accident is when something unusual caused the injury.
- Go to the doctor: Your employer is responsible for getting you medical care. If your claim is denied, you may go see your own doctor. But if the employer has accepted your claim or if they are providing medical treatment, you could endanger your claim if you go to your own doctor. Tell the doctor how the accident happened. Your medical providers will be recording your history in their records. Make sure they know you are there because of your accident at work.
- Fill out a Form 18 to start your claim. You can find it at the North Carolina Industrial Commission website. Send a copy to the Industrial Commission or file it online. Send a copy to your employer, and keep a copy for your files.
- Get witnesses: Write down the names of anyone who knows about your accident. If you can get their contact information, it will help later if you have questions or need their help.
- Don’t sign anything: Don’t sign anything without fully understanding it. Never sign a blank form. If your employer presents you with a document, tell them you want to consult with an attorney before you sign.