People in Ohio can get hurt on the job for all kinds of reasons. Someone who delivers groceries could end up hurt in a crash, while someone at a factory could get injured in a struck-by incident involving a forklift.
However an Ohio worker gets hurt on the job, they need to be prepared to take certain steps for their own legal and financial protection. For example, if they take advantage of this opportunity in informed ways, employees who have suffered occupational harm can generally get benefits through workers’ compensation to cover medical treatment and replace their wages.
What steps do injured workers need to take in order to improve their chances of receiving any benefits that they are rightfully owed?
Report the incident as soon as possible
Ideally, a worker will tell their supervisor or the manager on duty about their injury as soon as the incident occurs so that they can visit the onsite medical facility or leave to undergo a medical evaluation. Prompt reporting is necessary so that employers can fill out appropriate paperwork for the workers’ compensation claim.
See a doctor as soon as possible
Although many people try to brush off a work injury and work through the discomfort, they might worsen their injury by doing so. The sooner someone sees a doctor, the quicker they will have appropriate treatment and recommendations for how to adjust their job to minimize their time off after they get hurt. The physician may be able to initiate a claim for medical benefits even if a worker hasn’t completed any paperwork yet.
Request appropriate accommodations
If a doctor agrees that a worker cannot continue performing all of their standard job responsibilities, they will typically write out recommendations for how a worker can adjust their workflow for safety or recommend a leave of absence. Employees will need to communicate with their employers about the limits on their functionality to either get the support they require to keep working or at least have the appropriate paper trail to qualify for disability benefits.
Abide by treatment recommendations
For someone to continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits, they will need to follow the doctor’s treatment plan. In cases where a patient does not agree that they are ready to return to work or that the suggested treatment is the best option, they may need to pursue a second opinion. Simply ignoring medical recommendations could leave someone at risk of losing their benefits.
Oftentimes, workers who are dealing with an injury related to their jobs require both wage reimbursement and medical benefits. Learning more about how to protect one’s right to workers’ compensation benefits can reduce the risk of mistakes and oversights that put someone at a disadvantage during the claims process.