Recent statistics show that more than 5,000 workers died from workplace injuries! In fact, the reported injury rate stood at 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers.
While this rate may seem negligible, most of the injuries incurred have a life-changing impact on their victims. This means that the victims become dependent on their families, in addition to the resultant financial losses.
Fortunately, it’s possible to file for a worker’s compensation claim to ease the financial burden. Here are some ways to get fair compensation quickly:
Seek Medical Treatment for the Injury
The most important thing to do right after a workplace injury is seeking treatment. Most employees delay getting medical attention and wait to see if they’ll get better. Others don’t realize they’re injured until they develop later severe health conditions and can no longer work.
Usually, most employee compensation plans assume that you didn’t get hurt if you didn’t get immediate medical attention. As such, seeking immediate medical attention help document your injuries, including the medical bills incurred.
This way, it becomes easier to seek fair compensation from your employer’s insurance with the help of a good personal injury lawyer.
Inform Your Employer about the Injury
It’s recommended that you report workplace injury immediately it occurs. Waiting for too long or never reporting at all may deny you full compensation. Ideally, employers are required to file an insurance claim within thirty days after a workplace injury.
Any delays in reporting an injury can make it difficult to prove your compensation claim is genuine. It’s therefore crucial for an injured employee to report the accident to the employer to increase their chances of fair compensation.
It’s worth noting that most employers have a laid-out procedure for reporting workplace injuries. Be sure to follow these procedures and liaise with the human resource for guidance.
Preserve the Evidence of your Workplace injury
After an accident, it’s crucial to find and preserve the evidence for your injuries claim. After all, the jury will decide your case based on the available evidence. Most importantly, preserving the evidence helps prove that your case is genuine and not a worker’s compensation fraud scheme.
Ideally, you should collect evidence of your injuries in the first few days following an accident. If you’re able to, take high-quality photographs of the scene and injuries immediately after the accident. You may also have to collect the names and contacts of the witnesses if there are any.
Remember that all your medical records and diagnosis related to the injury are evidence. So, make sure you keep track of all information, including the missed time at work due to the sustained injuries.
Value Your Claim Fully
Usually, employees assume that the worker’s compensation claim covers injuries only. This is because most employees aren’t fully aware of the resultant losses that come with workplace injuries. As such, it’s essential to keep in mind that the value of your claim goes beyond physical injuries.
Besides the medical bills, you should be compensated for the lost wages and the time out of work. Other out-of-pocket losses such as emotional damage and trauma counseling expenses are also considered. You may consider consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you evaluate your claim.
Don’t Overlook Future Damages
In addition to out-of-pocket expenses, injured employees are likely to overlook future damages. Essentially, these are damages that manifest later after sustained injuries. For example, say you’ll hit on the head while at work, it’s expected that your compensation plan will cover the expenses for the bruises or cuts sustained.
However, you may develop a persistent post-concussive syndrome that impairs your ability to work efficiently. For this reason, it’s recommended to work with a medical professional to determine if there are any post-accident damages. Your lawyer can then use this medical documentation when negotiating a settlement amount.
Be Specific and Consistent
After an accident, you’ll have to describe the accident to your doctor in detail. The doctor will then give record these details and submit them to the insurance company. As such, it’s important to ensure that you’re honest and clear with your statements.
Most importantly, your statements should be consistent with what you described to your employer. If the insurer detects any inconsistencies or inaccurate information, they may deny you compensation. The insurer will also be on the lookout for pre-existing injuries or symptoms as an excuse to deny your claim.
So, ensure you make it clear that your prior injuries or condition aren’t the cause of the accident.
Stay off Social Media
The insurer is always on the lookout for instances that may compromise your claim. Some insurers may even monitor your social media activities to see if you’re injured as you claim. Besides, you can’t claim devastating injuries, yet your Facebook posts tell a different story.
Remember what you do or say after the accident can be used against you. Therefore, it’s best to keep a low profile and avoid posting or talking about the accident until you reach a settlement.
Prepare for an IME
An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is usually done after an accident a reported workplace injury. It’s conducted by a doctor from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
The goal here is to determine whether the injured employee has reached maximum medical improvement. In other words, whether the employee will get better with further treatment.
If you’re requested to undergo an IME, you should seek counsel from your personal injury lawyer. It’ll help ensure that the independent doctor doesn’t incriminate you and jeopardize the case. Also, keep in mind that refusing to undergo the IME can result in termination of compensation.
Limit Insurer’s Access to Medical Records
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will request access to your medical records. While this is the standard procedure, the access should be limited to documents relating to your work injury. Don’t give them any authorization to look at other records or bills without consulting your lawyer.
Talk to Our Workplace Injuries Lawyer Today
Filing for compensation for workplace injuries can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost and confused with all the processes, from collecting evidence, reporting to keeping medical records and everything in between. However, working with an experienced workplace injury lawyer will certainly ease the process.
Most importantly, you can be sure that you’ll get the compensation you deserve. So, don’t hesitate to talk to us today to discuss the facts of your case.