If you sustain an injury at work due to negligence on the part of your employee, then you need to know the next line of action.
All kinds of injuries can occur at work, and when they do, you may find yourself worrying about how to cover the cost, insurance, or if you will get paid for your time off from work. Injuries result in wasted time and money.
Most employees have no idea about what to do after a work injury and end up getting denied some of the benefits they could’ve claimed. Or worse, some employees succumb to pressure from their employer to overlook the incident and cover the cost instead. Every employer is obligated by law to provide safety measures in the company and train employees on how to prevent work accidents, especially when work involves handling heavy machinery.
Below are four action steps to take after a work injury. These steps make a difference between receiving the benefits you deserve or being taken advantage of by either your employer or the worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
If you can get evidence after your injury occurs at work, ensure you do. It could be a video or a photo of the accident scene or injuries. Why do you need evidence? First, it will help you when you are reporting the incident to your employer. Next, this evidence could be used when appealing to the court as a backup to your claims in case your employer denies you your benefits.
Seek medical assistance
The most important thing is to ensure that you get the help required to treat yourself. Whether it is minor back pain from a fall or a little cut, you need to get checked by a doctor to know what is wrong with you. And start getting treated for it immediately. Ensure you follow to the letter every instruction given by your doctor. A failure to do so can result in the loss of some of your benefits, or worse, your entire worker’s compensation claim. Also, don’t skip any of your doctor’s appointments. Any mistake on your path could lead to you being denied your benefits.
Get legal help
Consult a personal injury attorney in your location on ways you can recover financial compensation from your employer to cover the cost of your injuries. For example, if you are in Los Angeles, you should consult personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles to help with your case, as employee injury laws may vary from state to state. The goal of a personal injury attorney is to make their client whole again and prevent other employers from committing the same offense.
Here are what to look out for when hiring a personal injury lawyer:
- Years of experience
- Number of cases won
- The lawyer’s interest in your case
- Consultant fee required
- Availability of the lawyer
Give notice to your employer
It is a legal requirement to inform your employer of any work-related injury within a state-mandated time frame. These time frames vary for each state, and a failure to do so would result in forfeiting your right to file a worker’s compensation claim. After your employer is notified, they must inform their insurance carrier to cover all your medical expenses.
To reduce cost, your employer might refer you to see the company’s doctor, rather than an external one. They do this to cut costs spent on medical treatment, and it is not required by law. You could choose to see an external doctor if you feel uncomfortable with the company doctor, or if you think your health is not taken as a priority by the doctor. It is vital to keep your employer updated about what is going on. Your employer must be informed about the cost of your health care and recovery.
File a claim with the workers’ compensation court
Workers’ compensation laws are rights awarded to an employee who gets injured doing anything work-related. These rights allow an employee to suffer less loss after an injury.
Usually, your employer has workers’ compensation insurance that covers injuries sustained while working. Making a claim ensures that every cost is covered by your employer. If you refuse to make this claim, then your employer is not obligated to cover any payment.
However, filing for workers’ compensation requires a lot of paperwork and time. It is best to seek legal help from a professional to help you out.
Work injury cases can be very tricky, especially if you don’t have professional guidance. Don’t make the mistake of skipping any of the steps listed above, or your claim may be barred, and your employer could deny you your benefits.