After a serious workplace injury, it is critical to know about the steps you should take in order to preserve your ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Delaware. To be clear, under Delaware law, there are certain actions you will need to take in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. While it can be difficult to focus on legal requirements when you are dealing with severe pain and increasing medical bills, you will be relieved that you took the necessary steps in order to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Our Wilmington workers’ compensation attorneys can help you with your claim or appeal, but in the meantime, the following are the steps you need to take after suffering an injury at work.
Notify Your Employer of the Injury as Soon as Possible
As soon as possible, you need to notify your employer about your workplace injury. At a minimum, Delaware law requires you to give notice within 90 days. Once your employer has received notice of the injury, your employer will have 10 days from that date to file what is known as a First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease Form, which acknowledges the injury and provides information to the Office of Workers’ Compensation. You should report the injury to your employer regardless of whether you believe it is minor or severe. Employers are required to file the First Report regardless of the severity of the injury, and you may not realize just how serious your injury is until several days or weeks have gone by, or until medical test results come back.
Seek Medical Attention as Quickly as Possible
In Delaware, you are permitted to choose your own doctor for care and treatment following a workplace injury. This is important to note since some states require injured workers to choose a provider from an approved list. It is important to have a medical assessment as quickly as possible following a workplace injury. For serious injuries, you should seek emergency treatment. Even if you think the injury can wait and may be minor, you should see a doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation.
Some signs and symptoms of serious injuries take time to appear, and waiting too long to see a doctor could jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim. Moreover, your injuries could worsen, resulting in additional pain and suffering. In addition, if you wait too long, it may be difficult for your health care provider to confirm that the injury occurred in the work-related manner you described, and you will need those medical records to support your workers’ compensation claim.
Give Notice of a Claim to Your Employer and Seek Compensation
According to the Delaware Department of Labor, you should then give your employer a prompt notice of claim for compensation if you remain disabled for more than three days after the injury. If you cannot reach a compensation agreement with your employer, the Delaware Department of Labor emphasizes that you will need to file an application for a hearing with the Office of Workers’ Compensation before two years from the date of the injury have passed.
Contact a Delaware Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Whether you were injured and you need assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, or you require help with an appeal, one of our workers’ compensation attorneys in Delaware can help. Contact Freibott Law online today or contact us by phone in Wilmington: (302) 633-9000.