What should happen after an injury or illness report to employer?

After reporting your injury and getting emergency treatment if needed, the following should occur:

Your employer must give or mail you a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one working day after you report your injury or illness (or your employer learns about the injury). You use this form to request workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer does not give you a claim form that is a red flag that your employer does not intend to meet its legal obligation to provide workers’ compensation benefits.  If this should occur, you need to immediately contact an attorney.

If you employer does provide a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) Read all of the information that comes with the claim form. Fill out and sign the “employee” portion of the form. Describe your injury completely. Include every part of your body affected by the injury. Give or mail the form to your employer. This is called “filing” the claim form.  Do this right away to avoid possible problems with your claim. If you mail the form to your employer, use first-class or certified mail and buy a return receipt.

Get good medical care

You should be treated by a doctor who understands your particular type of injury or illness.   Your employer or a claims administrator from the insurance company should provide you with a list of doctors to choose from called a Medical Provider Network (MPN) The doctor that you choose is called your “primary treating physician.” The role of this doctor is to:

– Prescribe care for your job injury or illness and manage your overall care

– Help determine when you can return to work

– Help identify the kinds of work you can do safely while recovering

– Refer you to specialists if necessary

– Write medical reports that will help determine the benefits you receive.

Tell the doctor about your symptoms and the events at work that you believe caused them. Also describe your job and your work environment.

Your employer will try to send to you to a doctor that they pick from the MPN. Many of the doctors on that list are very biased against injured workers, thus it is very important to choose a doctor that makes your health his priority and is not more concerned with the insurance companies’ bottom line.