If you are injured seriously enough at work, it is the law that the company for which you work must pay you for your medical treatment and time off to recover. However, if you are hurt while on the job and make the following mistakes, you may jeopardize your right to filing a worker's compensation claim or could be denied funds and reimbursements after you start and go through the proceedings.
1. Neglecting to Report the Injury Right Away
The first mistake that you should not make if you are hurt while working is neglecting to report the injury to your supervisor right away. Even if you do not believe that the injury is serious enough to warrant attention, you need to make sure the initial injury report is on file with your company, as you never know when your symptoms may worsen as the day or days go on.
If you neglect to report your injury until hours or the next day, the company may have enough leeway to claim that you did not get hurt while on the job. Especially if you went home, started feeling bad, and reported the incident the next morning, your employer may be able to state that there is reasonable doubt that you were not injured at work, and rather, hurt yourself while off the job site.
2. Refusing Third-party Medical Treatment Directly after the Incident
When you do report the injury, you are within your rights to seek third-party medical treatment even if you were examined by the company's nurse or doctor. Refusing this treatment is a mistake you should not make for a couple of reasons.
First, since your adrenaline is most likely pumping, you may not feel the full extent of your injuries. Only a thorough examination by your or the emergency room doctor can tell just how badly you were hurt. And, if you were to wait until days later to seek treatment, your employer may try to state that you exacerbated your injuries after the fact.
Second, since the company nurse or doctor works for your employer, they may not take you as seriously as a third-party medical caregiver. You want to have a second opinion on hand so that you can prove that your injuries are as bad as you claim they are.
Along with neglecting to immediately report your injury and not seeking third-party medical care, another mistake that you should avoid is trying to go through the claim process by yourself without any legal counsel or representation. As soon as you are able, make a consultation appointment with a worker's compensation attorney so that you can go over your case together and decide on a course of action.