It’s an unfortunate reality for businesses and employees: No matter how careful people are, the risk of a work-related injury remains. From strains, sprains, and pulled muscles to broken bones, you never what a workday will bring. And if an incident occurs, it can have several ramifications.

First, there’s the need for prompt medical attention—and the related bills. But there are other issues, like time away from work, rehabilitation services, etc. That’s why every business needs workers’ compensation insurance.

It addresses the repercussions from work-related injuries to ensure employees aren’t hit with large bills and, just as importantly, that they obtain the services needed to recover and get back to work as soon as possible. That’s good for them and their families and also for their company.

Every employee covered by workers’ compensation insurance should understand how the workers’ comp claims process works, including these general steps:

Get medical attention immediately. This is the most important step. If the injury is serious, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. For less serious injuries, you may be able to see your doctor or visit an urgent care clinic. Example: Antonio was working on a construction site when he fell from a ladder and injured his back. He was able to walk but was experiencing significant pain. His coworker took him to urgent care for assessment and treatment.


Report the injury to your employer. You should tell your supervisor or manager about the incident as soon as possible. They will need the details so they can file a workers’ compensation claim. Example: Antonio went to his supervisor’s office after leaving urgent care and explained how the accident occurred.

Complete an incident report. Your employer may ask you to complete an incident report. It includes details of the injury, including the date, time, and location of the incident, the nature of the injury, and any witnesses. Example: Antonio’s employer gave him an incident report to fill out. He completed and returned it promptly.

Work with your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer will file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. This claim is sent to your workers’ compensation insurance agency. Your company will also notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Example: Antonio’s employer filed a workers’ compensation claim for him and notified OSHA.

Attend medical appointments. You will need to attend all of your medical appointments as directed by your doctor and follow their advice for recovering from your injury. This could include taking medication, attending physical therapy sessions, etc. The insurance company will pay for your medical treatment, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications.

Example: Antonio had to see a doctor several times after his accident. The insurance company paid for all of his medical expenses.

Keep track of all of your expenses related to the injury. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and transportation costs. You will need to submit these expenses to the insurance company as part of your workers’ compensation claim. Example: Antonio kept receipts for medical bills and expenses and made notes in a journal to ensure he had all the details related to the incident and his recovery.

Be patient and available during the claims process. The workers’ compensation claims process, like your physical recovery, can take some time. Be patient and work with the insurance company to resolve your claim, answering any additional questions or providing additional information if requested. Example: It took several months for Antonio’s workers’ compensation claim to be resolved. He stayed in communication with his supervisor and others throughout the process and was able to recover and get back to work.

Additional Tips When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claim


Keep these important considerations in mind as you navigate the workers’ compensation claims process:

  • Be sure to get the name and contact information of the person you spoke to when you reported the injury to your employer.
  • Keep a copy of all of the paperwork related to your injury, including the incident report, medical records, and workers’ compensation claim forms.
  • If you have any questions about the workers’ compensation process, be sure to ask your employer or the insurance company. They’re happy to answer them and you’ll feel better if you fully understand the process.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits


Workers’ compensation insurance policies provide the following benefits:

  • Medical benefits. The insurance company will pay for your medical treatment, including visits to your healthcare provider, hospital stays, and prescription medications.
  • Temporary disability benefits. If you are unable to work due to your injury, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits.
  • Permanent disability benefits. If your injury results in a permanent disability, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. These benefits may be paid as a lump sum or as a monthly payment.
  • Vocational rehabilitation benefits. If your injury makes it difficult for you to return to your previous job, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits can help you get the training or education you need to find a new job.

Addressing Workplace Injuries With Confidence


Suffering a workplace injury can leave you with many questions. Who will pay for my medical treatments? Will my family and I be OK financially? What should I do next?

The good news is that workers’ compensation insurance exists to help with workplace injuries, illnesses, and even fatalities. It protects you and your family from the ramifications of on-the-job incidents to ensure you aren’t left with large medical bills or income gaps.

So, while your injury and the aftermath may be frightening and disorienting, you should remember there are processes in place to help you get the treatment you need and get back to work after you’ve recovered.

And while you don’t need to become a workers’ comp expert in advance of any potential injury, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the steps above so you’re ready to take action should an incident occur.