A workplace injury can be a devastating blow to you and your family. It could leave you in pain, with serious medical bills, and unable to work. Luckily, worker’s compensation is meant to help you handle the financial burden of this challenging situation.
Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies will look for any possible reason or loophole they can use to deny your claim and minimize or flat out deny the payment of your worker’s comp benefits. For this reason, it is essential that you follow the established procedures in order to make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to if you’re ever injured on the job.
If you are the victim of a workplace injury or as a direct result of the work you were doing for your company, you need to make sure you take these three key steps to make sure you can receive worker’s compensation. Please keep in mind, this blog is not intended as legal advice for your specific situation, and if you are ever injured at work you should consult with a personal injury attorney like Thomas Inkelaar to discuss your options. Also, if your injury is an emergency situation, take action to get emergency medical help and get out of danger before doing anything else.
Step 1 – Report the injury and get an accident report
Different companies may have different injury reporting policies, but in general you must make sure you report your injury as soon as possible to your employer. Be very clear and specific about how and when the accident occurred. Ensure that your employer creates some sort of official accident report so there is a paper trail that proves you reported the injury to them and when you did so. Make sure you receive and keep secure your own personal copy of the report.
Step 2 – Record any significant interactions with company or insurance representatives
Keep a very thorough record of dates, times, and exactly what was said during any conversations you have with any significant representatives of your employer or of your employer’s insurance company. You should also record if anyone else was present when the interaction occurred. All of this information could be very useful as evidence should your worker’s compensation claim be denied or delayed for any reason. This also includes conversations or interactions you have with medical professionals or anyone else who has an impact on how your injury is treated.
Step 3 – Get necessary medical care and follow your doctor’s instructions
It is also very important that you follow through in getting the care you need to help take care of your injury. If you neglect to get care, it could be argued that your injury was not significant enough to warrant care or compensation for that matter, so there is no need to try to be tough about it. Explain in complete detail to your doctor how the injury occurred and any consequences or issues you’ve had as a result. Next, follow any instructions the doctor gives you to a T. If he or she tells you to rehab it three times a week, then rehab your injury three times a week. If they tell you not to attend work, then don’t attend work. And keep in mind that, in Nebraska, you may have the right to choose your doctor if it is someone who has treated you before. However, if you don’t choose a doctor, your employer will get to choose for you.
Worker’s compensation claims can be tricky, so be sure to speak with an experienced professional like Thomas Inkelaar to ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to if you are ever injured on the job. Let us answer your questions and fight for your rights if your claim is denied. Don’t let a workplace injury destroy your life.