According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 2.7 to 2.8 million private industry workplace injuries each year in the United States. From slips and falls to repetitive use injuries, employees can hurt themselves in many different ways while on the job.
If you find yourself joining these statistics, you want to ensure that you follow the necessary steps to receive the medical attention you need while having your costs covered.
From his practice in the greater Los Angeles area, primary care physician and emergency medicine doctor Michael Bazel, M.D., handles workplace injuries and understands how to best navigate your care.
Here, we review what you should do after you injure yourself during the course of your employment.
Is it a workplace injury?
While there are obvious workplace injuries — you slip and fall in the office or you’re hit by an object in a warehouse — some injuries aren’t as obvious.
Repetitive use injuries, which develop over time, are common among workers’ comp claims. For example, you work at a computer all day long and develop carpal tunnel syndrome, or you develop lower back pain from standing for long hours.
These types of injuries are still considered workplace injuries and should be handled as such.
Get medical help right away
Our first concern is that you get the medical help you need as soon as possible. If it’s an emergency, you will likely head to an ER first. If you’re still able to function after a workplace injury, but you’re in pain, it’s important to seek urgent care, which we provide here at our practice.
Alert your employer
Outside of getting medical attention, one of the most important steps is to notify your employer about your injury. This notification will get the ball rolling on your workers’ comp claim and make it easier to access the care and compensation you need.
Even if you develop an injury over time, as soon as you realize it’s employment-related, get in touch with your employer to report the problem.
This prompt notification is important because, if you don’t report the injury within 30 days, you may lose your workers’ comp benefits.
Find a doctor who understands workplace injuries
When you’re dealing with a workplace injury, you want to find a medical provider who understands how to best navigate the system. Dr. Bazel is such a doctor, and he understands the workers’ comp process inside and out.
Not only will Dr. Bazel provide expert care and referral for your workplace injury, but he also ensures that all necessary paperwork and reporting is done correctly. As well, he stays in contact with your employer and the insurance company regarding your work status.
If you have more questions about what steps to take after a workplace injury, please call one of our conveniently located offices in Panorama City, Bell, and Valley Village, California. For less immediate issues, you can also request an appointment online.