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What should I do if I receive injuries on the job?
If you are injured on the job, you have the right to receive immediate medical attention for your injuries. Additionally, if your injury requires continued care or forces you to miss work, you have the right to seek compensation for medical care and financial losses. It is very important that you follow these steps when you have been injured. Failure to comply with these steps could cause you to lose your rights to receive benefits.
Report Injury Immediately to a Supervisor
The first thing that you should do when you have been injured is report the accident and related injury to your supervisor. Make sure that a workers' compensation claim report is filled out so that you can seek immediate medical care. Many employers will send you for medical care before processing the paperwork as a way to get you faster medical attention. This is acceptable.
However, you need to get a copy of this report as soon as possible to check for accuracy and keep for your records. If possible, take notes on what you remember prior to the accident or injury occurring and what happened immediately afterwards. This information can be very useful to you later when you are seeking compensation.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
Even if your injury seems minor at the time, you should request to see a doctor for your injury. There are many occasions where a simple injury can actually be something more severe and could lead to lasting injury if not quickly treated. Your health is the most important thing, so make sure that you are examined by a doctor when any injury occurs.
It is very important to remember that an insurance company, especially for workers' compensation, will believe that your symptoms or injuries came from somewhere else if you do not seek immediate care. Even if your injury was reported, they will say that they symptoms came from aggravating the injury in another way at a different place or time. This can cause your claim to be denied.
Follow Up on Medical Care
One of the most important things for your health and your workers' compensation case is to follow up on all of your health appointments. If you are scheduled for follow-ups, tests or therapy, it is imperative that you make all of the appointments. Rescheduling or missing appointments causes the workers' compensation provider to believe that your health is fine because you do not go for follow-up care. It is also very important that you comply with medical recommendations. If a doctor prescribes physical therapy, you need to participate.
Patients that are documented as refusing treatment or not complying with treatment are looked upon by the insurer as someone that does not want to recover from the injury. This can, and most likely will, cause your case to be denied. If you feel that the course of treatment is not helping your injury, speak to your workers' compensation attorney. You have the right to request a second opinion. On the other hand, you should continue treatment with your initial care provider until the attorney can schedule the second opinion.
Speak to a Workers' Compensation Attorney
One of the most important things that you can do when you have been injured on the job is to speak to a professional workers' compensation attorney. This is the one way that you can guarantee that your rights as an injury victim are protected. Sadly, most insurance companies are more worried about their bottom line than the health of their claimants. They have been known to deny treatments or force people back to work too soon, causing greater physical harm to the injury victim.
Having an attorney represent your case to the insurer will protect your rights and help ensure that you receive the best treatment and correct amount of compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries. Once your injury has been stabilized, and before you agree to talk with a claims agent from the insurance company, you will want to contact a workers' compensation attorney for a free case evaluation.