When you are injured on the job, the impact on your life can be devastating. You have your pain and injuries to cope with. You might be unable to work, and the financial impact can create incredible hardships for yourself and your family. The emotional toll of both coping with your injury and your uncertain financial stability can cause stress and anxiety that exacerbate the situation.
This is why workers compensation was created. Workers comp laws are in place to protect you from losing everything if you are injured through the course of work. Unfortunately, insurance companies and employers are often resistant to paying the benefits that they owe and sometimes use tactics such as fear and intimidation to get injured workers to agree to far less than they deserve.
Many people do not realize the workers comp protection that the have on their own and do not get the support they need unless they have a attorney for a workers compensation fighting on their behalf. If you are injured on the job, the actions you take following the incident are critical for getting the workers compensation you deserve:
- Follow the proper procedures set by your employer.
Any deviance to the procedure that your employer uses to handle injuries could result in our workers compensation claim being overturned. In most cases, you should notify your supervisor of the incident immediately, and fill out an incident report with HR. You should know your workplace policy on injuries sustained on the job, so that you can be sure to follow them precisely.
- Document everything.
The more documentation you have regarding your injury, the more evidence your attorney for a workers compensation will be able to use to fight for your cause. At a minimum, be sure to collect the following documentation:
- Contact information from anyone who witnessed the incident.
- Photographs of the site where the injury occurred, and any factors that led to or aggravated the injury, such as the weather, the condition of the roads, a wet floor, etc.
- An email trail of your notification to your employer. You should notify your supervisor of the incident by email, and maintain all further contact regarding the situation via email. Using email ensures that every interaction is recorded, with a time stamp.
- Any medical records from treatment for your injury.
There is no amount of documentation that an attorney for a workers compensation would consider too much. Document, document, document!
- Get the help you need.
Getting medical care after a work place injury is important for your own well-being and recovery process. It is also important to show you were proactive about minimizing the damage from your injury. If you delay being seen by a doctor, the insurance company in charge of your workers compensation can claim that your negligence made your injury worse; this can be used to deny your workers compensation claim. Also, seeking medical treatment establishes documentation that can be used to support your case.
Even if you do not feel that you need it, go to the emergency room immediately following your injury. If practical, take an ambulance. Get follow-up treatment with your own doctor, specialists, occupational therapists, and so on. We know that physical therapy can be painful, but by all means, do not quit until the medical professional working with you says you can. Giving up on treatment you need will likely lead to you losing your workers compensation case.
- Find a good attorney for a workers compensation.
Having a workers compensation attorney work on your behalf will help ensure that you get the financial help you need throughout your recovery process. Your workers comp attorney will know the best course of action to achieve a successful claim and will be able to guide you through that process.
Also, it is important that after you find a workers comp attorney you trust, all contact regarding your claim from your employer or insurance company is directed to your lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to ensure that case unfolds in your best interest.
Do you have any other advice for achieving a favorable workers compensation claim after being injured on the job? Please add it in the comment section below.