It’s important to know in advance what you should do after a workplace injury so you will be able to act rationally in an unnerving situation. Suffering a serious injury can be an emotional experience as you deal with the pain and stress caused by the injury. Knowing what steps to follow can help you to better handle the situation, and it will allow you to protect yourself from a financial perspective.
After any type of workplace accident, your first step should be to report the incident to your manager or team leader. While you have 30 days to report the accident, doing so at your earliest opportunity is better. If you fail to report the incident within that period, you will no longer be able to seek a worker’s compensation claim. If you don’t feel as though you have suffered an injury in the accident, you should still notify your supervisor. The injury may take longer to develop, and you will still be able to initiate the claim process within those 30 days. For this reason, any health condition that develops within those 30 days should be checked out by a doctor. Reporting the accident as soon as it occurs can eliminate doubt that might otherwise arise if you delay reporting the incident to your supervisor.
Even though there are many pressing things to address following your workplace injury, consulting an L&I attorney should be done as soon as possible. Many people put this step off until everything else has been addressed, but getting legal help sooner can benefit you. Primarily, it will ensure your lawyer is fully familiar with your case from beginning to end. Your attorney can help you process the initial claim to reduce your chances of rejection. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to help you get a fair settlement offer. If your initial claim is rejected, an experienced lawyer can help you appeal the decision.
It’s a good idea to undergo a medical evaluation with your doctor even if you don’t think you have been Injured after an accident at work. Several types of injuries can go unnoticed for extended periods of time. In addition to head trauma, examples of serious internal injuries include spine damage, neck injuries, and internal bleeding. Additionally, the insurance company can assert that your injuries aren’t as serious as you state in your claim if they can show that you delayed the examination. You’ll help your recovery and improve your chances for a successful claim if you begin treatment right away.
You should find some time to write down everything you can remember about the accident. If the incident involved broken equipment or other hazardous conditions, you should try to take pictures of the area with your phone. You should also write down the names of any witnesses to the accident to help your attorney in building a strong case for your claim. When writing down the details of the accident, be as thorough as possible and specifically write down any safety precautions you took in engaging in your duties. Anything you can recall will help you pursue a more successful claim.
The next step is to file your worker’s compensation claim. This can be a complex process, which is why it’s often a good idea to get your lawyer’s help in completing the paperwork. They will make sure you include all of the necessary information, and they will ensure your documents are submitted in time to meet any deadlines. You may also have to supply copies of important documentation, such as your medical bills, your recent pay stubs, and other types of documentation. Missing a deadline or failing to provide a specific document can delay the processing of your claim so it’s important to be as thorough as possible.
You should also keep in mind that your employer and their insurance provider will be looking for ways to save money. When they try to compel you to see their doctor or return to work sooner, be sure to consult your attorney. They will help you protect your rights throughout this entire process. You shouldn’t do anything that will compromise your long-term health or physical condition.