Getting injured on the job is something no one wants to deal with, but unfortunately, it is much more common than we may think. Whether your job requires a lot of manual work that puts you at a higher risk for injuries, or you have a desk job where the chances are much lower, getting injured at work can happen to anyone. Once injured, a person will go through a difficult battle of getting the medical attention the need, the wages they deserve and the rights to certain benefits. If you’ve been injured on the job, here are the first things you need to do.
Get Medical Help
If it’s a serious injury, you need to make sure you are taken to the emergency room or to see a medical professional right away. The emergency room will tell you to follow up with your primary care doctor or a specialist of some kind, which is the next step.
One thing that injured workers in Indiana need to know is that the employer or their insurance company has the right to essentially “direct their care.” Often times, they’ll go to an emergency room but after that, they’re sent to an occupational medical center or a med-tech to follow up. No one is telling you not to go and get treatment. If your employer is not stepping up to the plate and you have some sort of emergency situation, obviously go and get the treatment you need, but remember that an employer in Indiana has the right to essentially choose the doctors and the medical providers that follow up with you and that are in charge of giving you your treatment.
Report the Injury
The most important thing that someone should do when they’re injured on the job is to make sure to report the injury. Often times, there’s some sort of dispute as to how the injury was reported or what kind of injury was reported, or whether or not it was witnessed. The biggest thing to do if you get hurt at work is to make sure somebody knows about it. Make sure your boss knows and that you comply with whatever guidelines that your employer establishes. Often times, there’s an employee handbook that everyone has to have, and everyone has to have read or reviewed, and there’s a protocol for reporting an ‘on the job’ injury. It’s imperative that you make sure that protocol is followed.
If you fall and you land on numerous parts of the body, make sure all of your injuries are included in your initial report. Each part of your body that’s hurt, or that you suspect there’s some sort of injury to, needs to be reported. Often times, someone will report, “Oh, I fell down.” In this instance, they may end up with an injury to their neck, to their back, to their shoulder, or to their knee, and if it’s not expressly stated in there then by the time they get to their doctor and get evaluated, the insurance company will say, “Hey, we’re covering your knee because that’s what you told us right off and we’re not covering your hip or your back,” or whatever it might be that ends up hurting a few days down the road when the swelling goes down on the knee. Just make sure that whatever you hurt, whatever gets injured, that it’s all clearly reported to your employer.
Hire an Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury and you think there’s going to be some time that you’re going to miss from work and you think you’re going to have to be receiving some significant medical care, the earlier an attorney gets involved, the more they can protect someone’s right to their benefits. Many people want to please their employer and they try to play by the rules by not hiring an attorney. But then they try to go to the doctors and all of a sudden, six weeks down the road, they’re released. They’ve seen maybe a doctor once or twice and the doctor just sent them packing on their way and yet they still have pain and they still can’t return to work. It it usually at this point someone will look to hire an attorney, but it is much harder to undo what’s been done than to try and control the situation from the outset. But, no matter when you look to hire an attorney, it’s essential to have representation so that you make sure you’re getting the benefits that you are entitled to.
If you have been injured on the job, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.