If you have been hurt in an accident at work, you may be eligible for Oklahoma Workers' Compensation benefits, even if the accident or resulting injury was not your employer's fault. Workers' compensation is designed to protect both employees and employers, providing necessary medical treatment for employees' on-the-job injuries while protecting employers from certain lawsuits. If you are hurt at work, there are some important things to remember when filing a workers' comp claim. You must quickly notify your employer of your injury, and if your claim is in dispute, you should hire an experienced Oklahoma workers' compensation lawyer to help you get the benefits you deserve. Workplace Injuries: First Steps for Injured Employees Workers' compensation benefits are available to employees who sustain an injury at work or who suffer an adverse medical condition as a result of the work environment or working conditions. To quickly obtain needed benefits, there are certain steps you must take.
- Notify your employer of the accident or injury. Although the law grants injured workers thirty days to notify employers, it is helpful to provide oral or written notification as soon as possible. Any delay between the onset of the injury and a report to the employer can give your employer's insurer ammunition for disputing that the injury was a result of the accident. Additionally, the accident or injury must be reported to a supervisor, foreman, company nurse, or an employer or employee working in a supervisory capacity. Simply notifying a co-worker of the accident is not enough.
- Seek medical attention for your injury, illness, or medical condition. In most workers' compensation cases, you must see an employer-selected treating physician. In emergency situations, or if your employer fails to provide you with medical care within seven days of actual notice of the injury, you may see the physician of your choice. If you wish to change doctors, you must apply to the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court according to terms specified by whether or not you are covered by a Certified Workplace Medical Plan (CWMP).
- Consult an attorney. If your claim is denied, if you are not receivingthe benefits or medical care warranted by your injury, or if you are suffering discrimination or wrongful termination for filing a claim, contact an experienced worker's compensation lawyer as quickly as possible. The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court (OWCC) does not require employees to have attorney representation, but it does mandate representation for employers' insurers. In a dispute, your adversary will have lawyers fighting on their side, and you deserve the same. Attorneys' fees are set and approved by the OWCC and are based on a percentage of your award. Give us a call to find a workers compensation lawyer in Oklahoma.