No one starts their shift expecting to be injured. So when workplace injuries do happen, employees are often scared and stressed out. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make mistakes when you aren’t thinking clearly. But the actions you should avoid doing after a workplace injury are just as important as those that you should take.
Here are six things you should NEVER do after a workplace injury.
1. Delay Medical Treatment
After a workplace injury, you should see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Many employers carry workers’ compensation insurance for this very reason. Don’t be tempted to delay treatment until later that day or the next time you have a day off.
Continuing to work after you’ve been injured can make your injury worse, and if you wait to seek medical treatment, your workplace injury claim could be jeopardized. If there is a long enough delay between when you say you were hurt and when you saw a doctor, the insurance company could question the nature of your injury. They could say that you hurt yourself outside of work and aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
For minor injuries, you can seek first aid at work and then have someone take you to the clinic or hospital. But don’t be afraid to call 911 for a serious or life-threatening injury.
2. Fail to Notify Your Employer Right Away
You should inform your supervisor that you have been injured immediately, and there are several reasons as to why letting your employer know is vital:
- The law places time limits on workers’ compensation claims. If you wait too long to tell your employer that you were hurt on the job, you might lose the opportunity to file a workplace injury claim.
- The sooner you notify your supervisor about your injury, the sooner they can start the claims process. Waiting will only delay any benefits you might be eligible to receive.
- Your employer may need to make immediate changes to the work environment. If you were injured, there’s a chance someone else could be injured, too.
Your health and safety are most important, so seek medical care first if you need to. Ideally, your employer should know about your injury during your shift.
Some injuries happen over a period of time, such as repetitive stress injuries or mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. For those types of injuries, you should notify your employer as soon as you know that your condition was caused by work-related activities.
3. Neglect to Take Photos of The Accident Scene
If you or a trusted coworker are able to, take photos or video of the job site or location where your injury occurred. Capture anything that may be important, like broken or faulty equipment and uneven flooring.
If you have a dishonest supervisor, they could try to cover up how or why you were injured on the job. Your photographic evidence may be needed to back your claim.
4. Forget to Ask Witnesses For Their Contact Information
Serious workplace injuries can take months or even years to settle. In the meantime, any co-workers or contractors that witnessed your workplace accident or unsafe work environment may have moved on.
Ask any witnesses for their personal contact information so you can get a hold of them in the future.
5. Skip Medical Appointments
After a workplace injury, your doctor will set up a treatment plan. This may include ongoing clinic visits, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic care. You should attend your appointments, even if you think you “feel better.”
When you speak with your healthcare providers, be honest about your symptoms. Don’t cancel or skip medical appointments or therapy sessions on your own. The insurance company could view this as you not really being hurt, and this behavior could impact the result of your claim.
6. Think That You Don’t Need An Attorney
We’d all like to think that employers and insurance companies will always do the right thing. But unfortunately, a lot can go wrong with a workplace injury claim. The insurance company could flat-out dispute your claim. Or, depending on the nature of the injury, dispute whether it is actually a work-related injury.
If you’re injured and aren’t able to work, you’re probably thinking, “How can I afford an attorney?” Most workplace injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless they secure compensation for you.
There are many advantages to hiring a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand what benefits you are eligible for, pursue maximum compensation, and will represent you should your case go to court.
Contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law Today
Now that you know what you shouldn’t do after a workplace injury, we encourage you to take the proper steps so you can reach the best-case outcome possible. The minute an insurance company is notified about your workplace injury, they get to work assessing your claim.
Unfortunately, they don’t always have your best interest in mind – but we do. Our attorneys have helped injured workers throughout Minnesota, and we’re ready to help you. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand your rights as an injured worker.
Contact our office today to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our experienced and compassionate workplace injury attorneys in Minnesota.