You left work in a rush after your accident on the job, so it’s understandable that you didn’t fill out any forms or talk to the company’s insurance provider. However, you will soon enter into the world of workers’ compensation and you need to be prepared to win your case.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in an Accident at Work?
Many employees make mistakes right after their injury that can greatly reduce their chances of getting fair compensation. For this reason, it is vital that all employees take these actions to protect their health and their future:
- Get emergency medical treatment. It may sound simple, but countless employees deny the need for a doctor and even continue working after they are injured on the job. This not only impacts your workers’ compensation claim, but can make your injury worse and even put your life at risk.
- Report the injury to your supervisor. All work injuries should be reported to the manager on duty as soon as possible. Reporting an accident allows you to begin the workers’ compensation process, and also allows the supervisor to prevent further accidents.
- Take photos of the accident site. You should gather evidence of the accident as soon as you are able. If you have a cellphone, take photos of the accident site before you leave work that day. If you are too injured, you can call a friend, relative, or attorney to take photos on your behalf.
- Get names and contact information of witnesses. You should take note of everyone who was present during the accident, including managers, coworkers, and any third parties who witnessed the accident. If you are unable to remember or are too injured after the accident, an attorney can gather these witnesses on your behalf.
- Don’t give a recorded statement. An adjuster may request a recorded statement of your account of the accident. Never give a statement, as they can be used against you when you file a claim.
- Don’t sign any medical releases. You should never sign anything after an accident without consulting a lawyer.
- Don’t talk too much with the adjuster. The insurance adjuster’s job is to save the company money. No matter how nice he or she is, resist the urge to “chat” about the accident. Anything you say, even as a passing comment in the conversation, can be used to deny your claim.
- Choose your doctor wisely. You will likely have to choose your doctor from your employer’s Medical Provider Network (MPN), so do as much research as you can before setting up your first visit.
- Always tell the truth. You may be asked if you have ever filed injury claims in the past or suffered previous injuries. It is important that you tell the truth. You cannot be denied workers’ compensation for these reasons, but you may be denied if you give false information to the Division of Workers' Compensation.
- Get help. If you are having trouble getting payment for your injury or you are being pressured to return to work, you should seek the advice of an attorney who has handled numerous workers’ compensation cases in the past.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.