Work-related injuries can cause quite a few complications in the life of the injured employee. If you’re an injured worker, you want to make sure that your trauma is fairly compensated. Lewis & Keller, Greensboro workers’ compensation lawyers, are always here to fight for your case, but you can also help yourself by following these recommendations for when you’re hurt on the job.
Submit a Report of Your Injury
If you’re wondering what an injury entails, you should report any occurrence of acute bodily damage (e.g. a broken bone or torn muscle), an injury that occurs from cumulative damage at the workplace (e.g. a misaligned spine from continuous use of faulty lifting equipment), or a disease or loss of functional ability (e.g. asbestos poisoning or hearing loss). Submit the report to your employer with the clear communication that your injury is due to work. Make sure you submit the report in a timely manner as reports filed outside of 90 days from the injury are easily denied.
Make Sure Your Employer Files an Accident Report
Some work supervisors will neglect to write an accident report for the company. You need this report to prove your injury to the company. If your immediate supervisor isn’t going to submit a report, you need to prepare a written statement describing the injury and its cause and submit it to the highest supervisor with whom you have communication. You should have that supervisor sign a statement that they’ve received your report. Once your employer writes an accident report, get a copy of it for your own records. This ensures that your claim can’t get “lost” in a bureaucratic hiccup.
Make Careful Notes of Who You Contact About the Injury
Record the names of all the supervisors you’ve communicated with concerning your accident and injury. Also keep track of the insurance agents and medical professionals you contact. You should note the dates and times of these interactions. In this manner, you’ll avoid someone denying that they spoke with you about your injury.
Be Persistent in Pursuing Medical Treatment
You may be refused treatment at first given the nature of your injury, but be persistent in demanding that a company doctor treats you. Going to a personal doctor can damage your injury claim. A court could interpret your use of a personal doctor as admission that your injury isn’t actually work related. Further, employers may not be required to pay for personal doctor visits, whereas the employer must pay for company doctor use.
Once you’ve met with the company doctor, make it totally clear to them how your injury was caused by work. Make the link between your injury and work as strong as possible. Some company doctors may not make thorough enough notes regarding how the injury was work-induced. If you suspect this is the case, provide the doctor with your own written report of how your work and injury are related and hang onto a copy of this report. This will make it clear to a court that the company doctor had full knowledge of the facts surrounding the injury.
If you’d like to have your workers’ compensation claim evaluated at no cost, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Lewis & Keller today.