What Should an Employee Do if Hurt at Work? | DirectWorkComp

What Should an Employee Do if Hurt at Work? 

What Should an Employee Do if Hurt at Work? 

Getting injured or sick on the job is a worst-case scenario for many. Even if your employees follow all the safety protocols set in place, accidents happen. If an employee were hurt at work and suffered from an injury or illness, knowing what to do next is critical. 

If you’re an employer, teaching your employees what they should do when an accident occurs is important. Here’s what employees and employers need to know. 


Processes for Employees

Here are a few things to educate your employees on when it comes to being injured at work and workers’ compensation.

1. Report Your Injury Immediately 

If you get injured or sick as a result of work, the very first step is the most important. The first thing you should do is let your employer know. Reporting your accident, injury, or illness is key to starting the workers’ compensation process and making sure you get the compensation and the care you need. 

How should you report your injury if you were hurt at work? Reporting an injury in writing is best. Speak to your supervisor immediately and let them know of your injury, how it happened, the surrounding circumstances, and any other details available. It’s best to be as meticulous as possible to have a record of exactly what happened, when, and any other people or equipment involved. Sometimes injuries are an emergency so you can’t write everything down right away, just make sure to do it ASAP in order to remember those details.

While you can speak to a supervisor in person, having your report in writing is helpful for the future of your claim and keeping the process smooth. 

Why file immediately? Some states have deadlines set in place for how soon after an accident you need to file a claim in order to receive compensation. These deadlines are known as statutes of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you could miss out on benefits, too. 

The deadline for reporting an accident or injury depends on the state. For example, In Iowa an employee must report the injury within 90 days – in California, the deadline is 30 days. So as an employee and employer, checking this deadline is beneficial.  

2. Workers’ Compensation Meeting 

The next step is to start the claim process. Your company’s HR director or workers’ compensation professional will guide you through the process – as well as talk to you about the next steps and benefits. 

3. Keep Detailed Records of All Medical Costs and Needs 

Once you’ve reported your injury or illness in a timely manner and your employer has helped file your workers’ compensation claim, it’s also important to keep detailed records of your medical costs and needs. 

While you receive the care and medical attention you need, be sure to keep detailed accounts of your doctors’ notes, costs, procedures, recovery costs, and more. This will help the process go smoothly. 


hurt at work

Tips for Employers

1. Educate Employees

Make sure your employees know how the claims and reporting process works. Without the proper education, employees may avoid the injury until it becomes worse. According to the Hartford Financial Group, claims that were not reported until one month after the occurrence were typically 45% higher. Leaving you paying more money and your employee in worse condition.

At DWC, we create posters for employers to hand out with different phone numbers and ways claims should be handled. Posters are just a small thing your business can do to educate.

2. Dedicate The Time

Does your business have a dedicated team member who takes care of workers’ compensation, or knows all of the ins and outs? It is important to have someone because things can get complicated. It is beneficial to have someone who knows:

  • What paperwork to file for the claim
  • Can do a near-miss report
  • How to explain options, benefits, and a return-to-work program
  • How to submit the first report of injury (if your state requires it)

Those are just a few things to know when it comes to workers’ compensation. So make sure there is someone in your company that has the time and is educated on work comp. If your business is smaller and can’t dedicate that much time, it is even more crucial to work with insurance professionals who will be with you every step of the way.

Our professionals at DWC can help you streamline your workers’ compensation program and get your claim’s process on track. You can email us at [email protected].




*The above information is not legal advice. DWC understands that each company is different, there are just starting points and legal/professional council should be taken before immediate action. 

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