Accidents happen – a phrase we have all heard before. In unfortunate situations accidents do occur at work as well. Oftentimes individuals who are injured at work tend to hesitate on reporting the injury because they are embarrassed or in fear of losing their jobs; however, this is not only the wrong train of thought, it is also the wrong way to handle the situation.
Depending on whom you work for your supervisors will require you to report your injury, even the most minor injuries. In other cases if you are not required to report the accident it works in your benefit to be upfront about the situation that occurred.
Examples of obvious work injuries include lower back, rotator cuff, and lifting injuries, strains/sprains, as well as fractures. In other instances occupational injuries are also somewhat common – examples of these are repetitive use injuries such arthritis, carpal tunnel etc.
In most states, especially the state of Wisconsin, there are laws in place to protect injured workers. The Department of Workforce Development has created specific guidelines for injured body parts, compensations, permanent disabilities, benefits etc.
The steps are fairly simple following an injury at work:
1. Report the injury to your immediate supervisor – filing an accident report is different from employer to employer so make sure you follow the rules of your place of employment.
2. After reporting the injury your supervisor or HR representative will provide you with a claim number – this is your golden ticket to receive health care if required or desired. In my experience it is best to seek consultation for even minor injuries to at least establish a medical diagnosis if further care is needed.
3. One of the biggest misconceptions of being injured at work is thinking that you must see an employee physician. In the state of Wisconsin, you have the right to see the physician of your choosing. I will reiterate – if you are injured it is your legal right to see a physician of your choosing.
4. After you see a physician and receive a diagnosis you should attend regular therapy if recommended. Work restrictions may also be given at this time if you are not able to perform your normal work duties.
The steps to filing a Federal Work Injury such as an Office of Workers’ Comp (OWCP or DOL) claim tend to have a few more specific steps – these Federal Employees include but are not limited to United States Post Office, TSA and VA employees. If you have questions with these types of claims please call our office for specific instructions.
Regardless of the case, it is your right and in your best interest to notify your employer of your work injury. Please call Advanced Care Specialists located in southeast Wisconsin at 262-898-9000 and speak with a work comp specialist today!
Dr. Kampfer, D.C, T.P.I Certified