Workplace injuries are no joke. One minute everything is fine, and the next you’re staring at your swollen ankle or watching your arm bend in the opposite direction.
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Take a deep breath; it’s going to be okay. Follow these steps to make sure you’re covered.
No Matter the Injury, Fill Out A Report
As soon as you can after treatment, fill out an incident report. The top priority is to have the injury in writing — no matter how big or small. You might feel a little foolish filling out a form over a small cut, but if the cut gets infected, you have no documentation that you received it at work. Unreported accidents won’t receive worker’s comp because the company can deny that the accident actually happened. Not only that, but the longer you wait to report what happened, the less you’ll remember about it.
Also note: keep a copy for yourself just in case, if your company doesn’t have incident reports, make sure you have what happened in writing and proof that it was sent to someone.
Seek Out A Company Doctor
If you can’t move your back or are gushing blood all over the floor, you need to go to the emergency room. After that, however, you may need to see a company doctor. Sometimes called panel physicians, these are specifically approved doctors by the company who you need to see to continue the written documentation process. Here is the reason: if you visit a company-approved doctor, their team of lawyers won’t question their credibility or decision process. They’re already viewed as an authority by the company.
Complete An Official Worker’s Comp Form
In order to make your intentions official, fill out a claim for workers’ compensation on Form C-3, which should then be mailed to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office. This, mixed with the incident report and doctor’s consultation will help your supervisors and the insurance company determine how much money is owed and how much time off is needed.
On another note, this will also help the company set up preventative measures to make sure the injury never happens again. It could lead to harnesses, better equipment, or the posting of warning signs.
Follow All Of The Doctor’s Orders
If they have you taking antibiotics for two weeks, and you feel fine after a week or so, keep taking them. If they want you to rest for a month, rest for a month. Seek out a specialist if that’s what the doctor wants. By doing everything the doctor recommends, you’re showing how committed you are to a full and speedy recovery.
If you miss a physical therapy session or try to go back before the doctor is approved, it could hurt your claim. It shows that the injury wasn’t as serious as previously thought. It also increases the possibility that you make the injury worse through physical exertion.
Consider Hiring A Lawyer
How can a Personal Injury Attorney help? Even if you follow all of these steps, file the right reports, and follow your treatment perfectly, you might still get the run-around from your supervisors and the human resources department.
Personal injury lawyers make sure you and your company reach a compromise for compensation, time off, and future preventative measures. If a company wants you to return before you’re fully recovered, then you could worsen the injury. If they refuse to compensate you for he needed recovery time, then your family could struggle to sustain itself. The lawyers work to reach an agreement about what is fair for both parties given the severity of the injury and the cause. Think of it as a negotiation.
Even if you think the injury is small or silly, it can still come back and have serious repercussions in the future. Even if your compensation case is approved, or the injury is small enough that it’s dropped, there is evidence of a dangerous work environment. Your employer can work to make your workplace safer and prevent any future injuries, which is priceless.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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