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What should I do if I’m injured at work?

There are two things you should do as soon as you can. The first is to seek appropriate medical treatment. Your health and safety should be the most important considerations. In some states, you are obligated to seek treatment with a health care provider chosen by your employer. In certain emergency situations when that is not possible, you can treat with an appropriate available health care provider. In other states, you can be seen, evaluated, and treated by a physician of your own choosing. Employers usually inform employees of their treatment options at an initial employee orientation or in an employee personnel policy manual.

The second is to give notice of the injury to your supervisor or another individual responsible for injury reports. This is usually someone in the personnel office. All states have a time limit for giving notice. These usually run from 30 to 90 days after the date you are injured. If you fail to give notice of an injury or if your report is not given in a timely manner, your claim could be denied. If you provide your notice in writing, make sure to retain a copy for your records.

After being made aware of an injury, employers in many states are required to report the injury to the workers’ compensation board. In some states, your employer is only required to report the injury if you lose a certain number of days from work. A copy of this official filing should be provided to you. The form is called a first report in most states. If you fail to receive a copy, request one. Check to ensure the information on the form is accurate and consistent with the report you provided. If inaccurate, you should request it be amended to accurately reflect the claim details.

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