Steps to Take After Work Injury
What Should You Do After a Work Injury?
There are many work accidents can happen. They may be the result of injury:
- On the employer’s property,
- While operating a truck or car for an employer, or
- On a third-party’s property.
If you have been injured due to an accident on the job, there are several steps you should take to ensure your health is taken care of and your rights are protected.
File a Report of Injury
Injured at Your Place of Work
If you are on the job when the injury occurs, you need to file a worker’s compensation Initial Report of Injury immediately. Failure to file one of these within 24-48 hours could result in your loss of a right to pursue compensation. If your employer does not have worker’s compensation, you need to check with your employer, your employee handbook, and/or the human resources department to see what type of injury report you are required to file. Many employers provide alternative accident injury policies that can provide you with medical benefits but you must comply with their specific reporting requirements.
Injured While Driving for Your Employer
If you are in an automobile accident while on the clock for your employer, you need to take several steps to protect yourself:
- Call the police and file a police report.
- Call your employer and report the collision.
- Follow the above steps in “Injured at Your Place of Work.”
If you are injured in a collision with a commercial motor vehicle, you should also read: What Should You Do After a Commercial Truck Wreck?
Injured on Third-Party Property
If you are on a third-party commercial property such as a grocery store, job site, gym, office or other place of business owned by someone other than your employer, they will likely have a process for documenting incidents. Contact a manager and file a report as soon as it is safe to do so. The sooner a store gets notice of the incident, the more likely they are to preserve any video evidence.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Regardless of where you are injured, seeking appropriate medical care for your injuries should be the first thing on your mind. Call an ambulance if necessary. The more you delay in seeking appropriate care, the more likely worker’s compensation adjusters, health insurance adjusters, liability adjusters and any other insurance adjuster involved is to deny or low ball your claim.
Don’t Make Medical Care Mistakes
Insurance adjusters are looking for an excuse to deny your claim. Here are some of the medical care mistakes they commonly deduct from your offer for:
- Not calling an ambulance
- Not going to a hospital from the scene
- Delays in seeking the initial medical care
- Delays in following up after the initial medical care
- Not following doctor’s orders
- Missing scheduled appointments
- Gaps in your medical care
- Not filling prescriptions
- Seeking “alternative,” “holistic,” or “experimental” types of medical care
If you do not want to get treated unfairly, your best bet is to seek care promptly and follow the doctor’s orders.
Photograph the Scene and Cause of Your Injury
If you are physically able and it is safe to do so, you should document the condition that caused your injury and the accident scene with photos. Get photos of the vehicles if it is a car accident. The condition that caused your injury otherwise. These photos are invaluable toward proving exactly what happened.
Take Picture of Your Injuries
Photographing your injuries and medical care can be very helpful in proving your case. Take photos immediately if you can or as soon as practical thereafter. Also, you should document your injury’s healing process frequently. Taking many photos over the first few days and then documenting the process weekly is a good idea.
Save all of your receipts for medical care. This includes:
- Prescription costs
- Medical supplies
- Medical bills
- Copays and deductibles
- Explanations of benefits
- Parking expenses
- Travel expenses
- Toll fees
Everything you can document makes bringing a claim and winning a little easier, so save everything.
Contact a Work Injury Lawyer
Call a work injury lawyer as soon as practical. Often, time is of the essence in these cases to prevent valuable evidence from disappearing. A work injury attorney can help you determine what types of coverage are available and when you need to file. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. offers a free consultation with a work injury attorney. We also do not charge you any attorney fees or expenses when we take your case unless a recovery is made. Call us today at: 1-800-298-0111.