While many workers’ compensation claims are handled without dispute, some employers and insurers try to minimize benefits or deny claims entirely.
As I discussed in this recent post, Indiana, like every state, has established a system specifically designed to help people who suffer injuries while on the job. While many workers’ compensation claims are handled without dispute, some employers and insurers try to minimize benefits or deny claims entirely. Additionally, as also discussed in this post, a workplace accident may be the basis of a claim against a third-party in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
This is why it’s critical to take the proper steps to preserve all evidence of your claim from the very beginning of your accident. The hours and days immediately following any accident can be hectic. Knowing what to do in advance can help you keep a cool head and a clear vision of the way forward in your workers’ compensation case.
1. Report the injury
Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you first become aware of your injury on the weekend, at home, or off the clock, reach out to any available supervisors or managers to let them know you have sustained a work-related injury. It’s important to notify your employer right away, as your employer may prefer for you to receive medical treatment at a particular hospital, clinic, or walk-in facility for workers’ compensation purposes.
2. Try to resolve disputes with your employer
If you are unsatisfied with your workers’ compensation doctor, or your insurer has denied your claim, talk to your employer. Workers’ comp battles can damage employee/employer relationships. Give your employer a chance to make things right.
3. Take detailed notes and pictures
Collect evidence immediately after your injury occurs. These days, most people have a smartphone or cell phone with a powerful camera inside. Take advantage of this technology. Take pictures of the area where your accident occurred. Additionally, make detailed notes of the time of day, what work task you were performing, what equipment you were using, the cleanliness of the facility, and your supervisor’s reaction after your injury. Also write down the names of any witnesses and record whether there were enough workers assigned to safely perform the task.