Falling while at work will likely qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you’ll need to follow several steps carefully to protect your ability to pursue benefits and protect your job.
Here are the steps you should follow after falling at work and suffering injury.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
Your actions following a workplace accident will dictate whether you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Follow these steps carefully.
1. See Your Doctor as Soon as Possible
Documenting your injuries with a medical professional is an important first step in the workers’ compensation process. You’ll start with either the emergency room if your injuries are immediately concerning or with a visit to your primary care doctor in non-emergent situations.
Your employer will later supply you with the name of a doctor you must see to manage your workers’ compensation claim. But to get things started, it’s appropriate to choose your medical professionals to document the situation.
2. Report the Injury to Your Employer
You have 30 days to report your fall to your employer. Failing to do this in the given timeframe can mean that the workers’ compensation insurance company has grounds to deny your claim.
Follow your employer’s protocol for reporting workplace accidents and always put the report in writing for reference in case you need it.
3. Watch for Your Employer’s Paperwork Within 7 Days
Within 7 days of you filing the report of your injury with your employer, the employer must file paperwork with the insurance company. You should receive a copy of this paperwork so that you’re aware of your claim status. However, if you don’t receive it, you should follow up with your employer to make sure your claim is moving through the correct channels within the appropriate timeframe to protect your benefits.
4. Receive a Decision from the Insurance Company
Once the insurance company receives the required information from your employer, the company will begin an investigation into what happened. It will then provide you with a decision on your claim as to whether it is approved or denied.
If your claim is denied for any reason, you can then appeal it. Ideally, you’ve worked with an Indiana workers’ compensation attorney to ensure proper documentation and have followed all processes correctly to avoid claim denial.
Workplace Accidents Involving Third-party Claims
Some workplace accidents have added layers of complication because they involve third parties – that is, other people or companies outside of you and your employer.
In these cases, you might be looking at a personal injury lawsuit against the third party who caused your injuries. This might be because the third party left equipment without safety gear or created a hazard on a worksite that they did not alert others to in the way that they should to look out for the wellbeing of others.
A variety of situations or carelessness could lead to third-party claims. Ultimately, you might have a third-party claim if someone outside of your employer is to blame for your workplace injury, such as a cleaning or maintenance crew that doesn’t use proper wet floor signage or alerts to risks and hazards that their maintenance causes.
Protect Your Claim, Start With a Free Consultation
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a standard workplace fall case that includes workers’ compensation benefits or if you’re dealing with a third-party personal injury case, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Seeking out a free consultation with a skilled professional can help you ensure you protect your legal rights and avoid saying the wrong thing to an insurance company.
Schedule your free consultation with Stewart & Stewart now.