Take the Right Steps to Maximize Your Recovery
In Texas, when you suffer most types of injuries in the workplace, you have a right to file a claim for workers’ compensation, which is designed to cover lost wages and medical expenses. Though the workers’ compensation process might seem straightforward, it can be fraught with peril. Far too many workers with legitimate claims are initially denied.
There are steps you can take to ensure that your claim has the best chance of being quickly approved:
Step #1 – Get the Medical Treatment You Need Immediately
Regardless of the severity of your injury, stop what you are doing and seek medical care. If you have a nurse’s station or other medical clinic onsite, go there immediately and tell them what happened. If you don’t, determine whether you need to go to an emergency room, an urgent care facility, or your primary care physician.
Don’t let a supervisor intimidate or bully you into waiting until your shift is over. You have the right to seek immediate medical care. If you don’t, your employer or the workers’ comp insurance company may argue that your injuries were not serious, or they may allege that you suffered the injury after you left work.
Step #2 – Report Your Injury as Soon as Possible
Notify your supervisor of your injury, or ask a coworker to do so right away. You have 30 days to report your injury, but the longer you wait, the greater the risk of an intervening injury or that your employer will contend that your injury was not work-related. In addition, any witnesses to the accident may quickly forget what they saw. It’s best to get their recollections while they are fresh. The sooner you report your injury, the sooner the workers’ compensation process will begin, and the sooner you can start receiving benefits.
Step #3 – Hire an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can help you avoid many of the simple mistakes that cause delays or denials. Your attorney can help you prepare and file your workers’ comp claim and ensure that you provide the best medical evidence to support your application for benefits. Don’t talk to insurance companies, attorneys, or coworkers about your case without your lawyer present. It may come back to haunt you.
Step #4 – Save All Paperwork Related to Your Injury
Ask your doctor to document everything in writing and ask for a copy of your medical report to give to your attorney. You should also keep all correspondence with insurance companies, medical facilities, and pharmacies.
Step #5 – Acknowledge That You’re Hurt and Act Accordingly
It’s fairly common for a workers’ compensation insurance carrier to send out private detectives to see if you are doing things that indicate your injury is not as serious as alleged. You’’ll be off work until your doctor says you can return. It’s not the time to go waterskiing or engage in any type of strenuous activity in your yard or elsewhere. You just might find yourself on camera and trying to explain to a workers’ compensation judge how you could do those things when you were supposed to be hurt.
Contact the Proven Workplace Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide aggressive legal counsel to people who are hurt on the job. To schedule a free initial consultation, send us an email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.