What to Do Immediately Following a Workplace Accident
We’ve all heard horror stories about workplace accidents and injuries. Unfortunate though it may be, there are several employers and insurance companies out there who DON’T have their employee’s best interests in mind – especially when it could cost them some money. This doesn’t mean that you’re completely helpless when injured on the job, though. By taking the steps listed below immediately following a workplace accident, you can significantly increase the odds of a favorable outcome for yourself.
See a Doctor
The very first thing you should do after experiencing a workplace injury is to seek medical attention. In the event of a serious injury, you may need to immediately go to an emergency room. In instances where the injuries are less severe, it’s best to contact your employer to find out whether or not they require that you see a certain doctor. If the employer sends you to a doctor and you were not satisfied with your experience, you could be entitled to a second opinion under state workers’ compensation laws. Seeking legal representation in scenarios like these can help to ensure that you receive the best care possible. Be sure to save any documentation of your injuries and the initial assessment of your treating physician. Hold onto any medical bills if a workers’ compensation insurance agency needs to review these documents or reimburse you for care received.
File an Accident Report
To qualify for workers’ compensation insurance, you will need to report your accident in writing. Under Colorado law, you are required to provide written documentation of your injury to your employer within four days of its occurrence – even if you’ve already reported it verbally. Failure to file an accident report within four days could cause you to lose one day’s compensation per each daily delay.
Follow Up With Your Employer
Colorado law mandates that an employer provide written notice of ALL employee injuries to their insurance company within 10 days of its occurrence. This report is known as the Employer’s First Report of Injury and its completion begins the process of your workers’ compensation claim. Ask your employer for evidence that this report was filed with its insurer.
Adhere to Physician Instructions
If your treating physician has prescribed a specific medication, course of treatment, therapy, or follow-up appointments, you must follow his or her instructions. Failing to comply with orders for bed rest or receiving follow-up care and rehabilitation could cause the workers’ compensation insurer to make an argument that your injuries were not very serious and you might end up losing out on your claim.
Seek Legal Representation
Cases related to workplace injuries can be complicated and they can quickly get ugly. For these reasons, it’s generally in your best interest to seek out an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately following your accident. A skilled lawyer will be able to help you navigate through the process of dealing with your injuries and aftercare, as well as being compensated for your losses. Attempting to go it alone or represent yourself may seem like a good idea at first, but many individuals end up missing critical steps, becoming overwhelmed by the case or being intimidated by bullying insurance companies. Having a seasoned professional on your team will provide you with much more peace of mind as you deal with your injuries.
Have you or a loved one been injured on the job? The experts at Mintz Law Firm have what it takes to help you fight your case. Give us a call to set up a free case evaluation today.