No one ever plans on sustaining an injury at work, but the reality is that millions of people suffer work-related injuries every year. Some of these injuries are minor, but others require immediate medical attention. If you’re ever in this situation, it’s important to know exactly what to do to protect yourself and your right to workers’ compensation.
An Employer’s Obligation to Provide Medical Treatment
According to OK Stat § 85A-50, employers must provide injured workers with medical treatment within five days of learning about the injury. The employer has the right to choose the physician, however if the employer fails to provide treatment within five days, the employee can select his own physician.
This is how it works in most cases, but it is not realistic to think that an employee with serious or life-threatening injuries will wait up to five days to find out where to go for medical treatment. Some employees could even experience severe or fatal complications if they waited five days. For this reason, a different set of rules apply to injured workers who are in need of emergency medical assistance.
What to Do After Sustaining A Serious Workplace Injury
An employee who is seriously injured will need to seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible. In this situation, the employee can obtain emergency medical treatment on their own if their employer does not offer these services immediately after the employee is injured. Some injuries are so severe that there’s no time for you to even notify your employer prior to leaving. Your wellbeing should be your first priority in situations like these, so there’s no need to stick around and wait for your employer to provide you with information if you are in desperate need of medical attention.
Even if you seek emergency medical assistance without your employer’s help, your employer is still responsible for paying for these medical expenses as long as the injury is covered by the workers’ compensation system. Therefore, an injured worker should not worry that he will be left with the bill simply because he did not wait for his employer to select a physician to provide emergency medical assistance.
After seeking medical treatment, it’s in your best interests to contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. Let our experienced attorneys assist you with every step of the workers’ compensation claims process. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.