These are great questions to ask right away. Unfortunately, they are also two of the least frequently asked questions I hear, but ones I would like to hear more of.
As a work injury lawyer, I would like to hear these questions from every worker who experiences an injury because if an injured worker follows a few, simple suggestions immediately after an injury, it can help avoid BIG problems later on.
Get Emergency Care (if needed)
First things first, if you need emergency medical treatment, get it – contacting a work injury lawyer can wait. For emergency medical treatment, an injured worker is not required to treat with a panel doctor. Get the necessary medical treatment required for the injury, thinking only about the most appropriate care for the situation.
Report The Injury To Your Employer
Secondly, after a work injury, it is critical to report the injury to your employer even before you start thinking about contacting work injury lawyers. Generally, a work injury must be reported within 120 days. It is a serious mistake to hold off reporting an injury in the hopes that it is a minor injury and will get better or work itself out. Report the injury to a supervisor immediately. A verbal report is sufficient but the best practice is to fill out an accident report. Make a note of the date the report was made and to whom it was made and be ready to provide this helpful information to your work injury lawyer. If you fill out an accident report, ask for a copy for your records. In reporting the accident, be clear as to how the accident occurred. Be as specific as possible and identify all body parts that have been injured.
Get Medical Treatment
Third, get the medical treatment you need. Generally, if your employer has a list of panel doctors, you need to be treated by one of them for 90 days after the first date of treatment. If there is no panel list, you can seek treatment from any medical provider – most work injury lawyers can help you figure this out. The panel list rules are a little more complicated. Also, the paper trail is critical. When you see a doctor, nurse, or therapist for treatment, make sure to give a good history of the work injury. It is particularly important at the first visit to give as much information as possible to the doctor as to how the work injury occurred. The employer and insurance company will carefully review this history given to each doctor later on. To avoid problems, the information must be accurate and consistent, which is something a work injury lawyer can help with.
Fourth, communication is important. Stay in communication with your employer and give important information to them about your treatment, restrictions and progress. Clear lines of communication are very important and will help avoid problems down the road.
Know Your Rights
Finally, know your rights. Call for a free work injury consultation. Not all work injury lawyers will spend enough time to make sure you understand your rights and that you know what to expect later on, but I will. Knowing and understanding your rights and responsibilities will bring much needed peace of mind.
If you have been injured at work, make the right choice and call me for a free work injury consultation at 717-584-9429, or fill in the form to the right to tell me about your case.