Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job, which breaks out to about 510 every hour, 12,300 every day, and a whopping 4.5 million per year. We introduce these eye-opening numbers to underscore just how common workplace injuries are, whether you’re ensconced in a comfortable corner office or you’re hauling cement. The steps you take after your injury, however, are what’s really important and can make the difference between a hassle-free recovery and one that’s an uphill battle to get the care you need.
Our team at Watson Chiropractic, which is headed up Drs. Steven Watson and Shannon Darrow, specializes in workers’ comp claims, which often fall under the purview of Washington’s Labor and Industry (L&I). From getting you the medical care you need to helping you navigate the injury aftermath, our team is with you every step of the way.
Here’s what you should know if you suffer an injury while you’re at work.
Make it known
One of the most important steps you can take when you’re injured is to let a supervisor know as soon as is humanly possible. While we’re not suggesting that you waste critical time finding your supervisor if you’re injured — your health comes first — it is important that someone at your company be made aware of the problem as quickly as possible.
If your injury is mild to moderate, letting your supervisor know about the accident and then seeking medical attention is a good way to get the ball rolling. If you suffer a severe injury and you’re unable to notify anyone before you get the medical help you need, the odds are that your supervisor is aware of the situation. Still, it’s safer not to assume that your company is in the loop, so send an email, text, or letter explaining the injury. By leaving a paper or electronic trail of your notification, you can help prevent any confusion down the road about what took place.
If you suffer an accident, as opposed to a repetitive use injury, you should also make sure that any witnesses to the incident also notify your company about what happened. At the very least, make a list of who might have some information so that you can access their eye-witness accounts at a later time.
Seek the right help
While this may seem obvious, it’s important that you seek medical help with a team that understands the workers’ comp process. At our three clinics, each of our staff understands the ins and outs of L&I, and they know the steps they need to take to get you the proper care for your workplace injury.
While many companies fall under L&I in Washington, about a third of Washington State’s companies are self-insured. In either case, we’re able to produce what your employer, the insurance companies, and L&I need in terms of medical documentation.
Filing your claim
Once you’ve received the medical care you need at our practice, your next step is to file a claim to make sure that your medical costs are covered and that your missing wages are also considered. As with most agencies these days, the claims process can be cumbersome and the paperwork overwhelming. Our staff is often able to cut through the clutter to make sure you have the right documents. We don’t mean to imply that you’ll have to battle for your rights — L&I is designed to prevent just that in our state, and they advocate on your behalf.
But if you’re unfamiliar with the claims process, you may skip a critical step, which is where we come in with our experience, making sure that all of your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed.
One of the most important ways we can help is by communicating directly with L&I and your employer about your recovery. Everyone’s goal is to get you back to work, but as your medical team, we ensure that you’re physically ready for the rigors of your job.
If you’ve been injured on the job, your first steps are often the most important, which is why you should seek the expertise of our team at Watson Chiropractic. If you have any questions, please call one of our locations in Kent, Tacoma, or SeaTac, or use the online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.