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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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Injured at work? Five Steps To Take Immediately

Posted on in Workplace Injury

How you handle a work-related injury or illness from the beginning will substantially increase the likelihood that the insurance company will cover your claim, pay for your medical treatment, and compensate you for any lost wages. Many people have never been through something like this before and don’t realize they may be making critical errors even within the first hour of sustaining an injury at work. We want you to be prepared and have the information you need right from the beginning so we have summarized for you five simple steps to follow when you’ve experienced a workplace injury:

1) REPORT TO YOUR SUPERVISOR:

Immediately after sustaining a work injury, you should inform your supervisor. This begins with verbally reporting the circumstances to your supervisor. When doing so, make sure you explain how you were injured (mechanism of injury), how it was within the course and scope of your employment (what work related activity you were doing at the time), and which body parts you injured. It is essential that you report every single body part that is hurting, even if one is minor compared to another.

After notifying your supervisor, it is important to document what you reported on your own in case your injury is not accurately represented from your previous conversation. You can document your reporting by sending a text or email to your supervisor – and you can (and should) fill out an accident report. If there were any witnesses present when you hurt yourself, make sure to get their full name and phone number. It is even better if they are willing to provide a written statement detailing how you got hurt and what they saw.

If your supervisor is reluctant to send you to a doctor, tries to talk you out of reporting a work injury or treats you poorly in any way, call Hoggatt Law immediately. We have dealt with these scenarios before and it’s always better if we can advise you on what steps to take now, rather than try to fix mistakes later.

2) IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE COMPANY DOCTOR OR EMERGENCY ROOM:

Once your report your injury to your employer, your employer is obligated to send you to a medical clinic for treatment of your work-related injury. If your employer does send you to a specific doctor, go to that specific doctor. If they do not immediately send you to a doctor, then you should report to an emergency room or urgent care right away and report your work-related injury. If your employer stalls or delays sending you to a doctor, go to the emergency room. Whether you go to the company doctor or emergency room, it is very important to report how you were injured, connect the injury to work activities, and report all body parts that were injured.

If you attend the emergency room or urgent care, you should report to your company doctor thereafter.

Your employer is required to give you multiple options to choose which worker’s compensation medical clinic to attend. If they have not done so, then you should call Hoggatt Law office immediately.

3) REPORT ALL BODY PARTS INJURED:

When multiple body parts are injured, you want to make sure that you continue reporting all body parts for the duration of the porcess. Many times, injured workers tend to focus on the body part that is the most severely injured; and they forget to report less severe injuries. This is a mistake. Report all body parts. If you neglect to report a body part on the date of injury, then it is less likely that the worker’s compensation insurance company will cover those body parts within the comp claim.

When you attend medical appointments for your work injury, most worker’s compensation medical clinics will give you a pain diagram which allows you to mark which body parts are injured. Make sure you mark every body part that you injured every time you complete a pain diagram. You complete the pain diagram yourself, so you have no excuse if you don’t accurately report all body parts injured. The pain diagram protects you from doctors who do not accurately document your injuries so make sure the pain diagram is thoroughly and accurately completed.

If your worker’s compensation doctors, or the worker’s compensation insurance company, is refusing to provide medical treatment for any of the body parts you injured at work, you should contact Hoggatt Law immediately.

4) GET WORK RESTRICTIONS:

If you are unable to return to work following your injury or if you know you are going to have limitations if/when permitted to return to work, then get written work restrictions from the company doctor or the emergency room. Provide these work restrictions to your employer and keep a copy for yourself.

If your employer is violating your work restrictions – or if your doctor is refusing to provide you with the work restrictions that you need, call Hoggatt Law immediately. Furthermore, if you are losing wages that are not being reimbursed, call Hoggatt Law.

5) COMPLY WITH DOCTOR’S INSTRUCTIONS:

After you see the company doctor or emergency room, make sure you follow through with everything they tell you to do. If they instruct you to go to a work comp clinic, then go to your employer’s designated clinic. If they tell you to follow work restrictions, then comply with those restrictions. If they recommend physical therapy, then participate in physical therapy. Do exactly as you are told unless you think doing so would cause you physical injury.

There are so many laws, rules, tricks and tips that your employer or their insurance company know that you don’t know. This list should not be taken as a comprehensive list as we have only reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to work-related injuries, how to get the medical treatment you need, and how to be fully compensated. If you are at all concerned you are getting taken advantage of or not getting what you need from the insurance company, you should seek legal counsel immediately.

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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