In a perfect world, nobody would ever suffer a workplace injury. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Close to 3 million people get hurt on the job every year in this country. Of course, most workplace accident victims work in dangerous industries. They’re at a much greater risk of getting hurt. A piece of equipment could malfunction. There could be a problem with scaffolding. The question isn’t really whether you’ll get hurt at work – it’s what you do afterward that matters. Thankfully, our workers’ comp attorneys in Charlotte know exactly what you need to do to protect yourself.
Here, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take after your workplace accident. We will also briefly talk about why these steps are so important. The things you do in the moments following your workplace accident can make all the difference. Often, this can determine whether your workers’ comp claim will be approved or denied. If you feel that you may have done something to jeopardize your claim, just give us a call. We can always schedule your free, initial consultation so you can come in and discuss it.
You Have to Report Your Injury to Your Manager or Human Resources Director Immediately
It doesn’t matter how serious or minor your injury is. You must report it directly to your manager or HR director. This way, there is proof that you were hurt on the job. If you fail to do this, your employer can always say that the accident never happened. Or they can argue that it happened, but that you weren’t hurt.
The other reason you want to report your injury is that your company policy likely requires it. If your employer has a policy regarding workplace accidents, you must adhere to that policy. If you don’t, the insurance company can argue that your claim should be denied. This is the last thing you need when you’re sitting home hurting and in pain.
If, by chance, HR isn’t available or your manager is not on the premises, report it to somebody higher up. This could be another manager within the company. Or you may be able to reach someone in administration. Make sure to fill out an accident or incident report regardless of whether anyone is there to see it. This may be the only proof you have that something happened.
We also recommend that you call and talk to a Charlotte injury lawyer before you file your claim. This way, you know your claim will be handled properly. It also provides you with a sounding board in case you have any questions or concerns.
It’s Important that You Go for Treatment the Same Day
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not going to the hospital. This is the last thing you want to do. If you don’t go to the emergency room, your employer can argue that you weren’t hurt. And, if you wait and go to the hospital days later, the insurance company will claim that something other than a workplace accident caused your injuries.
You Must Agree to Be Treated by a State-Approved Workers Comp Doctor
Most states have a list of certain doctors who are allowed to treat people under workers’ compensation. North Carolina is no different. You aren’t allowed to see your own primary doctor. Nor can you pick one from the internet. You must agree to be treated by a state-approved physician.
If you refuse to agree to this, your claim will likely be denied. If you see another doctor later, there’s a good chance your benefits will be terminated. The truth is that there’s no reason to do this. If you don’t feel the assigned doctor has your best interests at heart, let your workers’ compensation attorney in Charlotte know. They can always get a second opinion and let the insurance company know what they say.
Your Charlotte Injury Lawyer Can’t Help You if You Refuse to Take the Drug
Almost every employer in Charlotte, North Carolina requires their workers to take a drug test if they get hurt on the job. You typically have to do this before you even receive treatment. They could do it at the hospital. Or there may be a place on-site where they do the drug test. Either way, if you refuse to take it, your claim will probably be denied.
If you do take the test and it comes back positive for drugs, your claim will not be approved. However, if you’re lucky, your employer may agree to pay for drug rehabilitation for you. They aren’t required to do this. However, if you’ve been with the company for a long time, they may be willing to help you. This doesn’t mean they’ll pay you replacement wages. They most certainly will not. But they may let you use any vacation or personal time you have accrued. At least this way, you’ll get to keep your job.
If your workers’ compensation attorneys in Charlotte find out that you were drunk or high at the time of your accident, they will probably not want to represent you. There’s not much point in appealing a claim that was denied for this reason.
You Have to Participate in Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
One of the things that frustrate Charlotte injury lawyers more than anything else is when a client refuses to comply with treatment. If you start missing doctor’s appointments or refuse to take part in your medical care, it will not be good. Not only will your claim be denied, but any benefits you’ve received may have to be paid back. You don’t want to put yourself or your attorney in this position.
If you don’t think you can do what your doctor is asking of you, let them know. If your doctor forces you to return to work before you’re ready, let your attorney know. You can’t just stop showing up. That’s a surefire way of having your benefits terminated.
Call a Seasoned Workers Compensation Attorney in Charlotte Right Away
If you get hurt at work, there is a lot at stake. You need medical treatment, and you also need to be able to pay your bills. The best way to make this happen is to call an experienced Charlotte injury lawyer. They can make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. They can also appeal your claim if it’s denied. Just call our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation.