That little kid who used to run around the house in their pajamas all day has suddenly turned in to a teen — and they’re out there in the world looking for work. As the parent, you’re naturally nervous. You know that workplace accidents happen, especially when someone is inexperienced.

Make sure that your son or daughter knows about workers’ compensation for injuries. While employers are supposed to make the benefits workers have following an on-the-job injury clear, that doesn’t always happen.

Tell your teen to do the following things if they’re hurt on the job:

  1. Get immediate medical treatment in an emergency room, if necessary. Remind your teen that they don’t have to ask for permission for emergency treatment, and they should never let a supervisor or anyone stop them from seeking care.
  2. Don’t let the employer dictate which doctor they can see for their care. While some states let employers or insurers choose an injured employee’s doctor, Louisiana doesn’t. It’s important to realize that a “company” doctor may be biased in the company’s favor.
  3. Give their employer formal notice about their injury as soon as practical. Even if your teen was injured right in front of the boss, it’s smart to put the notice in writing. They usually only have 30 days from the date of an injury to give that notice if they intend to file a claim.
  4. Don’t accept a denial without a fight. No insurance company is ever eager to pay out a claim. If they can find any reason to deny your teen’s workers’ comp, they will. Let your teen know that they shouldn’t give up if that happens.

Workers’ compensation claims can be exceedingly difficult to navigate on your own — especially if you’re unfamiliar with your rights. Do your best to prepare your teen for what to expect and seek legal assistance when needed.