Everyone deserves to work in an environment in which they can be safe. Even if your job requires you to work in the vicinity of dangerous equipment or hazardous material, you should be given the guidelines necessary to work without incident. Indeed, job-related injuries are not limited to manufacturing and similar industries. People also suffer injuries in seemingly safe and comfortable office spaces.
If it has happened to you, if you have been injured on the job, you should put in a claim for compensation. It is both a right and a necessity. Your injury can make it impossible for you to work for some time. The resulting loss of wages and medical bills will put you under financial strain.
The first thing you should do after you are injured and before you put your claim in is to contact a lawyer. Lawyers Perth who specialize in worker’s compensation claims will ensure that you submit the claim properly and that your rights are protected as the matter is adjudicated.
You should not assume that your compensation claim will go through seamlessly. A lawyer will help you anticipate difficulties and to formulate a plan to overcome them. Your lawyer will also advise you of the actions or inactions that will sink your claim.
If you have been injured, here are 5 things you should know about your compensation claim:
- You should report your injury to your employer within 30 days
If you fall, strain your back, or have an incident with a machine, you know immediately that you are injured. You should report this to your supervisor straightaway. You may also need to notify your human resources department. Some companies have specific guidelines on how employees should report such matters, so you should consult your worker’s manual.
Injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome develop over time. However, the moment you are diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury you should report it to the proper authority. Not doing so will be seen as prejudicial to the insurance company and can impact the money and benefits you receive.
- Tell your medical provider your injury occurred at work
Some people are embarrassed by their fall at work or are too proud to admit that they have strained a muscle while doing heavy lifting. They will, as a consequence, not tell their doctor the injury occurred at work. Pride has its place, but it should be left out of your efforts to get compensation. You must be honest with your medical provider. Insurance companies review initial medical reports in search of anything that will get them out of paying.
You should also remember that you are not a doctor. Do not assume that your injury is no big deal. What seems like a minor injury can actually be quite serious. If you are not honest with your medical provider up front, you cannot go back later and claim your injury was work-related.
- You should see the company’s doctors
In certain instances, the company will want you to see their doctor. You should comply. And do not worry: your own doctor’s diagnosis and opinion of your injury will still stand. However, if you refuse to see the company’s doctor they can say that you are not really injured and deny your claim.
- You should not wait to hire an attorney
As has been said before, one of the first things you should do after you have been injured is retain the services of an attorney. Not everyone likes lawyers, and you may share this general attitude. However, you really cannot afford to get on without one. Insurance companies work hard to keep their money. They have armies of professional claims handlers whose main job is to find ways to deny paying out money to the insured. It is hard for ordinary workers to get a fair shake on their own. Indeed, studies have shown that workers who make claims with an attorney get five times as much in the settlement as those without one.
It is also the case that the paperwork involved in an insurance claim is not always straightforward. Even the smartest and most literate people make errors. These errors can lead to your claim being denied. Completing the paperwork with the help of an attorney will ensure that everything is done right—the first time.
You will also need an attorney to help you through the investigation of your accident. There will be one, and you need someone who can advise you on what to say and what not to say when you are interviewed. Your lawyer will also review the findings of the investigation to make sure it has been done in a fair and impartial manner.
- You should not attempt to work through the pain
You take a great deal of pride in working to earn your living. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. But there is a big difference between trying to get back to work and ignoring your pain. Doing the latter can jeopardize your health and your livelihood. You should follow your doctor’s advice on the time required for you to recover. If you have done so and you still feel pain, then you may need additional treatment. You should not try to soldier on. This may lead to complications that can permanently damage your health and lead to an even longer period out of work. If you need more time to recover, contact your attorney and revisit your doctor.
These are some of the many matters you should keep in mind if you have been injured on the job. There is absolutely no reason for you to believe that your company and their insurance company will have your best interests at heart. They have revenues and profits to protect and costs to contain, and they will allow nothing to get in the way of that, not even an injured worker. You must therefore look after yourself, and you should start by hiring a personal injury lawyer.