Study: injured workers sometimes scared of reporting injury

When a North Carolina worker is injured on the job, they may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits while they are recovering from their injury. The workers’ compensation system is one through which injured employees can claim benefits without having to go to court against their employers. It protects workers and serves as their safety net when they are hurt on the job.

In order to collect workers’ compensation benefits, an injured employee should report their injury to their employer, preferably through writing. However an employer learns of the injury, it must offer its employee a claim form as soon as possible, as the employer’s obligations do not begin until the form is filled out.

According to workers’ compensation researchers, anxiety over getting fired is one of the factors that affects both the treatment that employees receive and the information they receive after they are injured. Recognizing these factors is one way health care officials and doctors can better focus on health care and interventions that can help workers return to work faster. The new study revealed that trust in the workplace is an important predictor in determining whether injured employees report their injuries and trust was measured by fear of losing their job.

However, employees should rest assured that it is their right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they suffer a work-related injury, and it is an employer’s duty to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. Workers should aim to file a claim as soon as possible. They can consider consulting an experienced attorney to help them if they are delayed in filing a claim.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Firing fear among new predictors of workers’ comp outcomes,” June 19, 2014

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