9 Things to Do if You are Injured on the Job
Even when you follow all the rules and take all safety precautions, workplace injuries still happen. Accidents happen in a second—and when they do, you are often left with high medical bills at a time when you cannot go back to work to pay for them. Regardless of how your accident occurred, or even if you partly contributed to it, you can file a claim for compensation. The actions you take after your accident, however, will have a significant impact on your claim. To ensure your rights are protected, here are some of the top things to do if you are injured on the job.
Seek Medical Attention
If your injury is serious, it is important to seek emergency medical attention. You should always see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. However, if you do not need emergency care, you must visit a doctor who has been pre-approved by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. If you receive treatment that is not urgent and not from one of the approved physicians, you could be denied workers’ compensation benefits.
Follow Through on All Recommended Treatment
After seeing a doctor, it is important to follow through with any medical advice they provide. Make sure you attend all doctor’s appointments, follow through on all recommended treatments, and fill all prescriptions. Also make sure you tell the doctor that your accident happened at work, so that fact is properly documented in your medical records. If you do not follow the recommended treatment, it could cause problems when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Of course, if you think the doctor gave you bad medical advice, you should see another doctor for a second opinion. This can be tricky though, when you are trying to file a claim so you should always first speak to a New York workers’ compensation lawyer that can advise you of the law, and how to get that second opinion.
Collect All Copies of Medical Records
The more you can advocate for your own health care, the better treatment you will receive. One part of advocating for yourself means collecting copies of your medical records, including the diagnosis and treatment plan, to ensure the information is correct. You will also need these records when filing a workers’ compensation claim, to prove the amount of medical expenses you have incurred.
Determine How to Report the Accident
In the moments or days following the accident, you should tell your employer about it. You should do this as soon as possible so your employer can get started on your claim. If your employer is not on site at the time of the accident, tell your supervisor or manager about it so you can provide notice as soon as possible.
Your employer may have their own policies and protocol about how to report a workplace accident and resulting injury. Ask your employer or consult your employee handbook to determine if there is a certain process you must follow when reporting your accident or injury.
Notify Your Employer
Once you have determined how to provide notice to your employer, you can then report the accident. Under workers’ compensation law, you only have 30 days to report the accident and if you do not tell your employer within that time, you could lose your right to claim benefits. You do not have to provide your employer with notice in writing, but doing so is always best so you have a record of it.
Keep Records and Take Regular Notes
From the moments following the accident right through until your recovery, you should keep records of your injuries and take notes. Take notes of when you received treatment, what treatment you received, and what type of doctor you received that treatment from. Also take notes of your injuries, and take pictures of the progress made throughout your recovery. Keep notes about how you are feeling, and how your injuries are impacting your daily life.
Fill Out Workers’ Compensation Forms
When filing a workers’ compensation claim, there is a considerable amount of paperwork involved. It is crucial that all of these forms are filled out properly and completely, which is something many people struggle with when trying to claim benefits. If you miss information or you do not follow the proper process, it could result in a denial of benefits. A New York workers’ compensation lawyer is a great help when completing this paperwork, as they are very familiar with them.
Stay Off Social Media
You need a lot of support as you are recovering from your injury, and you may turn to social media for it. It is true that social media is a great way to connect with friends and family, but using these platforms could hurt your claim. Insurance companies comb through the social media profiles of accident victims, looking for things to use against them.
For example, you may post a picture of you and your friends enjoying a night out before the accident. The insurance company will use this to argue that your injuries are not imposing the limitations you said they were, because you are still able to go out and enjoy time with friends. You will have no way to prove the picture was taken prior to the accident and so, you could lose out on the benefits you need. Stay off social media altogether and when you need support, call or text a friend instead.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been injured on the job, our New York personal injury attorneys can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.