Making a Work-Related Accident Report
If you're involved in a work-related accident, make sure to report it. This will protect any injury claims you may make with a worker's comp insurer.
If you get hurt on the job, it is important that you understand your state’s workers’ compensation insurance system, since it may be your only means of receiving compensation for a work-related injury. In this article, we explain the details of reporting an on-the-job injury, which is typically a prerequisite to filing a workers' compensation claim.
Immediately Make A Work Injury Accident Report
If you receive a work-related injury or illness, immediately report it to your supervisor. If the injury or illness has gradually worsened over time (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), report it as soon as you think it was caused by your job. If you do not report your injury within a certain amount of time, usually within 30 days, you may lose your right to collect the workers’ compensation benefits to which you would otherwise have been entitled.
What Should The Injury Accident Report Contain?
Many states and employers have their own claim forms which you will need to fill out in order to request workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer does not give you a claim form, get one from your state’s workers’ compensation board.
The workers’ compensation claim form will ask you for your personal information, as well as information about the accident. Typically, the accident report will ask you to include:
- the nature of the injury, including every body part affected by the injury
- how the accident occurred
- parties involved
- date, time, and location of the accident, and
- medical treatment you have undergone.
After you fill out this form, give it to your employer. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself. At this point, the claims process starts.
Following Your Claim
This simplest way to keep your workers’ compensation claim on track is to keep good records. Keep all of these documents organized in case you encounter a problem with your claim. Your records should include all of the following:
- Forms you filled out and documents received. You will receive many forms to fill out and other documents. Make sure you keep a copy of everything that you fill out or receive, including copies of the envelopes showing postmarks.
- Notes on how your injury affected your work. Keep track of how your injury or illness has affected your ability to work. Include such as information as whether or not it takes you longer to accomplish certain tasks. Also make note of everyone involved in your claim, the discussions you had with them, and the dates of these discussions.
- Medical reports. Ask your claims administrator for a copy of all medical reports.
- Pay stubs/checks and time sheets. Keep a copy of all of your pay stubs/checks and time sheets, from both before the accident and after, to show how your income and dates worked have been affected by your injury.
- Receipts for out-of-pocket costs. Save a copy of all out-of-pocket costs, such as for medicine or travel to medical appointments, so that you can later be reimbursed.
What Happens After I Fill Out My Claim Form?
After you fill out your claim form and give it to your employer, typically your employer will fill out the “employer” part of form and file it with a workers’ compensation claims administrator and state workers’ compensation board office. Claims administrators usually work for your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company or, when it's a larger employer, they work directly for the employer.
After the employer files the form, the claims administrator should contact you within a reasonable time to tell you whether or not your claim has been accepted and the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you will receive.