If you have been injured while on the job, it is important to take certain steps in order to protect any workers’ compensation claim you may have. If you fail to protect your claim, you may lose your right to have your medical bills paid, a percentage of your wages paid, and any other out-of-pocket expenses covered.
If you have been injured at work, contact a workers’ compensation fto find out what legal options you may have in your situation. In the meantime, the following is an overview of those important steps.
Report the Injury to Your Supervisor
As soon as the injury occurs, you want to report the injury to your immediate supervisor. If your company has a workers’ compensation process in place, you will want to make sure to follow those steps, as well. Although you may only be required to make the report verbally, go the extra step and put all the details of the incident/accident that caused the injuries in an email to the supervisor. This way, you will also have an electronic record of reporting the accident. You should also fill out an accident report. Make sure to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident, as well.
If your employer hesitates to send you to the doctor, pressures you into not reporting the injury, or penalizes you for reporting the injury, contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Once you have reported your injury, your employer should send you to the medical facility that your employer uses for these situations. If they do not send you to that doctor, then you should go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room immediately for medical treatment and documentation. Whether you go to the company doctor or your own, it is critical to provide them with all the details of how the injury occurred.
Share Details of All Body Areas Where You Are Injured
If you sustain multiple injuries, make sure to let the doctor know. It is not uncommon for victims to focus on the injury that is the most painful or severely injured and forget to tell the doctor about the other areas that have been injured. I you fail to document these injuries when the accident first happens, the workers’ compensation insurance company will likely try to contest them, and this could delay the initiation of your benefits.
Get Restriction in Writing
If you will be unable to work while you recover or if your doctor issues work and activity restrictions when you do return to work, then make sure these are put in writing. Give a copy to your employer and keep a copy for your own records.
If your employer tries to violate these restrictions, contact your workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Listen to Your Doctor
Make sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions and restrictions. Follow through with all treatments, physical therapy, medications, etc. that your doctor prescribes. Failure to comply, whether the restrictions come from the company doctor or your own personal doctor, can result in your workers’ compensation claim being denied.
Thanks to Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt‘s Andrew Neuwelt, a Palm Beach Gardens FL workers’ compensation lawyer.
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