Despite workplace safety initiatives and educational efforts, accidents do happen. It may not be a dramatic event that makes the news in Orlando and beyond, such as a factory explosion. But even what you may consider a minor happening – such as a slip and fall where you don’t notice immediate injuries – needs proper handling.
Here are three things you should do if you are injured at work:
1. Report the accident to your employer within 30 days. This is important even if you believe you were at fault, don’t think you were injured, or if you like the owner of the company and don’t want to cause any trouble.
Workplace accidents can cause injury, but the injury may not show its symptoms right away. In other words, just because you weren’t visibly bleeding or didn’t need an ambulance after an accident at work doesn’t mean you weren’t injured.
If you don’t report an accident within 30 days, your employer could deny paying for your medical treatment or benefits while you’re out of work. Not reporting an accident could cause the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to question why the accident wasn’t reported. And as private insurers won’t pay for work-related injuries … this could put you and your dependents in a difficult financial position.
2. See a doctor, soon. Serious injuries, of course, require emergency-room treatment. But if you have an injury at work that isn’t an emergency, seek authorization from your employer to get at least an initial evaluation. These authorizations are generally with medical professionals at a walk-in clinic. If you don’t feel that doctor’s assessment is accurate – consider a second evaluation by another doctor, even if you have to pay out of pocket.
3. Update your status and follow up with your employer. After you have an accident at work and report it, the emergence of an injury also needs to be reported. Don’t assume the company knows that information or has filed a workers’ compensation claim. A qualified workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in filing an injury report.
None of us can plan for accidents, but when they happen, you need answers. The Law Office of Brian E. Tadros knows you have questions. We help workers injured on the job with free consultations. We look forward to talking with you.