You're going through the daily motions and then suddenly, something goes amiss. It could be a faulty step that gives out in the warehouse, a rogue flame in an industrial kitchen, or a slip in the teacher's lounge. Every job site or workplace has dangers, obvious or hidden. But, when you're hurt on the job you do have options to help find a resolution.
Anyone hurt on the job should carefully follow these steps. Deviating from the system can mean not getting coverage for the medical treatment you need. However sticking to the strict rules and unfair decisions of an insurance company that doesn't have your best interest in mind isn't always a good idea. Go through these steps, and make sure that you look out for yourself and avoid the many pitfalls of workers' compensation claims.
Always complete an incident report, with as much factual information as possible. If your employer does not seem to take this issue seriously, write out a statement explaining the incident and submit it to them while also requesting to file a formal incident report.
If You Get Hurt on the Job, Report All Injuries to the Right People
Every workers' comp claim or case must start with you reporting the injury. Unfortunately having a bad relationship with your boss, or higher ups isn't an excuse to not report properly. However, if they refuse to handle your case then that isn't on you.
For example, if you slip in a pool of oil that should have been mopped, you'll need to report that injury. But to who? First you'll need to tell your immediate manager. Second, you'll need to notify your HR department, if your company has one. Finally, you may need to contact OSHA.
Should You Call OSHA?
If you were sent to the hospital or witnesses a fatal injury then you need ot file a report with OSHA. Now, many industries don't properly train their staff on how to understand and handle an OSHA report.
OSHA is not the agency that you go running to when you cut your finger, or hit your elbow on a doorjamb. This agency does take smaller or more minor reports, however, they largely look out for fatal and severe injuries. They have strict reporting requirements in place, and it's very possible that your employer isn't going to comply with those requirements.
Follow Instructions on Medical Treatment Carefully
After you've reported everything and filed the appropriate reports then you'll get medical treatment. In efficient and fair situations, a manager will contact emergency services, ask a few questions while awaiting arrival of EMS and then file the report while you receive medical care.
In less serious situations you may be sent to an Urgent Care office with your businesses medical care card. If you're willing to make an appointment instead of getting immediate medical care then know that you can't go see any doctor. You need to see their doctor, or someone on their network.
After you see a doctor approved on your employer's network, then you need to follow their advice to the tiniest detail, or seek a second opinion. You do have a right to a second opinion, but it could be difficult to get if you don't follow the first persons' instructions to see if it works.
Document Everything from Transportation to Follow-ups
One of the areas that people go wrong when they are handling a work-based injury is that they assume their boss will document everything. It's on you to document as much as possible. Take pictures of the environment where the injury happened, of your injury right after the incident and during its healing stages.
Make sure that you also closely document what days you saw which doctors, what treatment or advice you received, and any economic impact it had on you.
Find a Good Workers' Comp Attorney in Your Area
When it comes to getting hurt on the job, you simply can't put it off. You also, can't trust people who would be at a disadvantage if you got everything you deserved. Your employers workers' compensation insurance certainly won't want to give up money if they could keep it themselves. Just the same your employer doesn't want to have their rates go up because you reported an injury.
If you are hurt on the job, it's vital that you involve a law firm that handles workers' compensation cases. Otherwise you might get stuck with the bare minimum coverage. Don't settle for less than you deserve. Calling The Mike Bell Firm can be your first real step toward resolving your injuries and the root cause at work. Rely on our experienced attorneys to support you during this tough time.
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