What to Do After Suffering a Workplace Injury
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. In Maryland, workers’ compensation insurance exists to compensate employees for injuries and lost wages that occurred at work. Not all injuries suffered on the job qualify for compensation. Typically, the injury must have occurred during work hours and on the employer’s premises – however, there are many exceptions to these general rules.
However, even when employees suffer on the job injuries, companies may try to discourage them from filing claims in order to save money and keep their insurance premiums low. Injured employees may face retaliation or intimidation from superiors, or feel pressured not to pursue it. Employees who do successfully file claims may still face significant resistance from the insurance companies. For these reasons, it’s important to know your rights and take care of yourself in the event of a workplace injury. The best way to do this is contact an experience workers’ compensation lawyer right away.
What to do if You’re injured at Work:
- Don’t feel pressured to move right away. If you suffer an injury, such as falling off of a ladder, your injuries may be more serious than you know, and attempting to move may make them far worse. Stay where you are while you assess the severity of your pain. Call for help and insist on an ambulance if you are in too much pain to move.
- Take note of any other employees or bystanders at the scene who saw what happened, as they can be witnesses. If you are able, get their contact information, as you may need to provide it to the insurance company – or your attorney – in the event that your claim is denied.
- Report the accident to a supervisor or appropriate manager as soon as possible. While you may want to try and walk it off or sleep on it to avoid seeming like you’re overreacting, this can really hurt your chances of successfully filing a claim later on. If you are experiencing any physical discomfort after a workplace incident, it is far better to be safe than sorry and make a report immediately. Any lapse in time between an alleged accident and reported injury will be viewed critically by insurance companies.
- Make sure a proper accident report is filed and keep a copy. If you tell your supervisor about your injury verbally, be sure to follow it up with an email and request that a formal accident report is filed. You also have a right to a copy of the official report.
- Report all injuries and possible injuries, even bruises and minor aches and pains. In the event that an employee falls off a ladder, they may suffer a number of injuries. For instance, say the employee breaks his arm. This is likely what the ambulance will be called for, and where most of the attention will be focused. However, the employee may also have injured his spine, neck, shoulder, or suffered soft tissue or ligament damage. It’s easy to ignore these things when everyone is focused on a more pressing injury, but it’s possible that if left unreported they will become far more serious and ineligible for compensation. It is your responsibility to make sure that every part of your body that doesn’t feel the same as it did before the injury is reported and receives medical attention. Don’t be afraid to be assertive with doctors and your employer in ensuring that all of your medical complaints and physical discomforts are thoroughly documented and adequately treated.
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are struggling to get the compensation that you deserve, you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. The experienced Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP are prepared to advocate for you. Schedule a consultation today.