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How to file an injury report legally for worker's compensation

Some professions are more dangerous and have more hazardous environments than others. In fields such as manufacturing, regardless of how safe workers are, accidents are bound to happen sooner or later. When this is the case, you will most likely need to file an injury report for worker's compensation.

Worker's compensation is awarded after an employee is injured on the job. The federal government provides a workers' comp program for every state, but each state sets its own laws and regulations regarding who is entitled to compensation and under what terms.

As a general rule, however, an employee is entitled to compensation as the result of a work-related injury or illness, regardless of who was at fault. That means an employee who was injured on the job as a result of being careless is as entitled to compensation as much as one who was injured as a result of operating faulty equipment. Compensation can include paying medical bills or paying employees for the time off that is required as a result of the injury.

Workers' comp is not just for injuries, either. Employees who become ill as a result of work, from chemicals, as an example, are also entitled to workers' comp. This does not mean you can be compensated, however, if you get the flu from a co-worker.

How to file an injury report legally
Each state has varying rules regarding how to file a worker's compensation form, so check with your employer or your state's department of labor. However, the following holds true for most states if you are injured on the job:

  • Tell your employer immediately that you have been injured and how. This is important even if you don't think your injury is serious or if you don't think it needs medical attention.
  • You must also inform your employer in writing of your accident within 30 days of its occurrence. Failure to do so could result in a loss of your right to compensation benefits.
  • Fill out a workers' compensation form from your state. Each state is different. You can get one from your state's labor department office, website, or from your employer.
  • If you have an occupational disease, you have two years to notify your employer and fill out forms. The two years is in effect from the time you find out your disease was work-related, or two years from the time of your illness.
  • Keep all records. This includes bills, hospital entry and discharge forms, doctors notes, prescriptions, and so forth. These may be necessary for future use.

Maintaining a safe work environment
Of course, the need to file workers' compensation forms can be eliminated or greatly reduced if employees and employers take steps to make sure they work safely and that their work environment is safe. Wear all required protective gear, including goggles, helmets, and so forth. Make sure you know how to operate all machinery before attempting to run a machine.

Employers should take care to provide the requisite safety equipment and see to it that it all machinery is maintained and running properly. Proper training should also be provided, and safety should be enforced.

If you are injured while on the job, it is important to take the proper steps in order to be eligible for workers' compensation.

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