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What do you do if you get hurt at work?

When you're hurt on the job, the first thing you should do is tell your employer. Don't wait until you get home or spend a few days considering your pain; you should immediately report any injury you suffer or do so as soon as possible. If you need medical care, a request can be placed with your employer under New Jersey law. In an emergency, you should seek care immediately.

If your employer decides not to report your accident to the workers' compensation insurance carrier, you have an option of doing so yourself. In your workplace, the insurance coverage for the company should be listed in a prominent location. Collect the information there and then contact your local workers' compensation organization.

Your claim will be investigated by the workers' compensation carrier or by your employer, depending on if the employer is self-insured or insured through the state or another carrier. If your employer won't sign off on your injury, you have the right to file a claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation about the incident. You can ask for an informal hearing, which will give you time to show your side of the case and why you believe you are entitled to receive workers' compensation payments.

If you are fired for doing any of these things, your employer could be found guilty of retaliation. Retaliation is illegal and is punishable. You may be able to make a claim against the company for compensation to make up for lost wages.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "FAQ's," accessed June 18, 2015

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