If you have been injured on the job, you may be in pain. Perhaps your back hurts because you got slammed against the wall breaking up a fight between students at school. Maybe your knees ache due to repetitive movements at your janitor job. Whatever the case, you are hurting and afraid of repercussions such as losing your job if you speak up.
However, your injuries can become even worse if you try to struggle through the pain. In the long term, keeping quiet could even render you physically unable to work.
Seeing an attorney
It may ease your concerns to first meet with an attorney. The two of you can discuss what you are afraid of and why. For instance, maybe other workers at your factory who filed worker’s compensation reports were fired. The attorney can explain what needs to be done, how he or she will advocate for you and how the worker’s compensation claim will be filed.
One critical thing to know is that you need to file within a month of the injury. Otherwise, you might lose the chance to get benefits. In fact, it is a good idea to go ahead and notify your supervisor about your injury before you even meet with a lawyer. You can share the news of the injury orally. The report need be nothing formal or elaborate in writing, and at that point, you might not even need to declare intent to file a claim.
Seeing a doctor
Your employer may have detailed procedures on how to deal with a work-related injury, including reporting requirements and treatment requirements. You might end up feeling like the doctor you saw did not have your best interests in mind, but it is important to see someone your employer has selected. You can change doctors later so that you get a person you are comfortable working with. Also, it is important to consistently tell doctors your injury occurred on the job so medical records back up your claim.