We have been helping injured workers in the Salem, Keizer, Aloha, & Beaverton communities for over 25 years. Over these 25 years we have helped thousands of people that get hurt at work. The one thing I have discovered during this time is that many injured workers fail to inform their employer in a timely manner of their work injury. Whether it is a slip and fall at work due to a wet floor, or improperly lifting, bending and twisting at work that caused the neck and back injury, many people are afraid to tell their employer that they got hurt at work for fear that they will get fired from their job. Others ignore their back pain, and take some medication hoping that the pain goes away. Some times the pain subsides temporarily, but later the pain comes back with a vengeance. This is often when people step into my office when their pain is so bad that they can't continue to function or work, and the pain has been worsening as the days go by. They have already taken a hand full of pain pills for the pain and nothing seems to get rid of it, and they finally step into our clinic for help.
What should you do if you are hurt at work?
Tell your employer right away about your work injury. Ask your employer for an Oregon Form 801, Worker’s and Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease/Illness if you want to file a workers’ compensation claim (for medical costs, lost wages, and permanent disability, if any). It is your right to file a workers’ compensation claim. You also have the right to not file a claim. No one else should make these decisions for you. Do not be afraid to file a claim. You employer cannot fire you for filing a work injury claim if you hurt yourself at work. All employers are required to carry workers compensations insurance that will cover you for injuries sustained on the job.
Alternatively, you can also file a claim through your doctor
If you go to a doctor after being injured, tell your doctor you were hurt on the job. You and your doctor should complete Oregon Form 827, Worker’s and Physician’s Report for Worker’s Compensation Claims. Doctors and hospitals are required to report job-related injuries to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company (the company from which your employer has purchased workers’ compensation insurance) within three working days.
Your employer’s responsibilities
Your employer also needs to send your workers’ compensation claim. That is Form 801 to the insurance company within 5 days of being notified of your injury. You should know that it is illegal for employers to do anything to keep their employees from filing injury claims. Your employer cannot not make you sign a statement agreeing not to file a claim. They must not require you to say the injury occurred somewhere other than at work. They cannot pressure you to not file an injury claim form by agreeing to pay the medical bills. They must not require employees to sign up as independent contractors, partners, or corporate officers for the purpose of avoiding workers’ compensation requirements. They cannot fire you if you filed an on the job injury claim. However, in my 25 years of practicing in Oregon, I have noticed that many employees will file their on the job injury claim after they have been fired. This looks really bad. If you wait to file a workers compensation claim, or work injury claim until you are either laid off or are fired from work, you risk the insurance company denying your claim. If this happens, then you will need to see an attorney that specializes in work injury law.
The Work Insurance company’s responsibilities
The insurance company must accept or deny your claim within 60 days from the day you file the 801 form claim with your employer. If your claim is accepted, the insurer will send you a “Notice of Acceptance.” This notice will list the medical conditions accepted for coverage by the insurer. If you believe that a condition has been left off the notice, or the notice is otherwise incomplete or incorrect, you must notify the insurer of the error in writing. If your claim is denied, the insurer will tell you about your appeal rights in the denial letter they send to you.
The insurance should pay time-loss authorized by your doctor. You won’t have to repay time-loss benefits if your claim is denied. However, if your claim is denied within two weeks of the date you reported the claim to your employer, you will not receive time-loss payments.
Remember, timely reporting is essential, so always report workplace injuries as soon as you can. If you don’t report the injury as soon as you know that your neck or back pain is due to a work injury, this could lead you to problems later down the road, and cause your insurance company to deny your claim and deny you benefits. You could be left with a denied claim and debilitating back pain. You owe it to yourself and your family to take care of your back so that you can continue to work and support your family. Notifying your employer right away after a work injury will take care of a lot of headaches later in the work injury claim process.
The Aloha, & Beaverton Oregon Medical Centers Clinic, as well as the Salem & Keizer Oregon Medical Centers Clinic specializes in Auto & Work Injury. We offer Chiropractic treatment, massage therapy and physical therapy treatments to help you during rehabilitation after a car accident or work injury. The Oregon Medical Centers Auto and Work Injury Clinic of Beaverton, Aloha, Salem and Keizer specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents or at work. Our chiropractors offer a range of therapy options, including massage therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic treatment to return you to optimum health and pain free status. We work with many medical doctors, Orthopedists and neurosurgeons to get you back to pre-injury status as quickly as possible.
Visit us at: www.autoinjuryhelpnow.com, or www.salemautoinjurychiropractor.com or call: (503) 390-1552 for the Salem, Keizer Chiropractor or call: (503) 642-2845 to visit the Aloha, Beaverton Chiropractor. Call us to discover how we can help you recover!