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Is my injury bad enough to seek workers' compensation?

Some jobs are more likely to result in injury than others. Cooks, for example, can easily get burned or cut while working with hot surfaces and sharp objects on a daily basis. So, when does an injury you receive at work actually call for a workers' compensation claim?

Here are a few of the basics to help you know.

Notify your employer

Whether you believe your injury is severe or not, it's best to notify your employer when you are injured immediately. If your injury becomes worse, failing to notify your employer of the incident could revoke your eligibility for workers' compensation.

Accept initial medical treatment

Once you notify your employer of an injury you received at work, they're obligated to provide initial medical treatment to you. In the case of a kitchen worker who cuts his or her finger, the employer may provide a sealing agent to prevent bleeding and help it heal back together.

In some cases, treating an injury immediately may prevent the injury from becoming worse. In this case, providing an employee with a sealing agent may eliminate the need for stitches.

Anticipate how long you'll be out of work

However, some injuries may render you unable to continue doing your job, even after initial medical treatment. If you are unable to work for more than three days, but you believe the injury will be sufficiently healed within a week, you'll only be eligible for workers' compensation following the third day after the accident.

However, if your injury leaves you unable to work for more than seven days, you will be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits starting from the day of the accident.

Get an expert's opinion

If you were injured at work and aren't sure if the injury is serious enough to keep you from work long-term, you should ask a medical professional for a prognosis. In Connecticut, you can choose whichever doctor you'd like for your workers' compensation claim.

That means if the doctor anticipates you will be out from work long-term, you can use this diagnosis in a workers' compensation claim. If the doctor says your injury should heal within three days, you may not want to pursue a claim.

If your doctor reports that your injury will take an extended amount of time to heal sufficiently, you should consult with another professional to seek compensation for it. A Workers' Compensation attorney can help you file your injury claim and fight to ensure that you get a fair settlement for lost wages, medical expenses and other related costs.

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