What Should I Do After A Work Injury?
If you were injured on the job, taking these steps will make it easier to receive benefits. However, legal counsel can help you to compile the evidence and documents you need if you missed one of these steps immediately following your injury:
- Seek medical care - You must look out for your health before anything else. Get treatment for your injuries as soon as you can so that you can begin the recovery process.
- Notify your employer - Begin documenting the accident by notifying your employer ASAP. In order to file a claim for WC, you must notify them within 120 days. However, the sooner the better if you want your claims process to go smoothly.
- First report of injury - Make sure your employer files a first report of injury to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. It's important to file this as soon as possible, so don't be afraid to check with your employer to make sure they've submitted it.
Do I Need To See A Company Doctor?
Your employer may request that you see a company doctor. In order to require this, they must do the following three things:
- Provide a list of at least six options for healthcare providers.
- Give you a written statement of your rights and duties to your employer after a work injury.
- Receive your signature agreeing that you've received the written statement.
Even if these criteria are met, you are only required to see a company doctor for the first 90 days after your injury.
When Is A Personal Injury Claim An Option?
In certain circumstances, injured workers may file a personal injury claim against a negligent third party. You would still receive workers' compensation benefits from your employer for your lost wages and medical expenses. The personal injury claim would seek additional compensation for other damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.
Third party claims are common in construction site injuries. On most construction sites, there are workers from a variety of sources. You may have been working with independent contractors, subcontractors, and others who do not share your same employer. If a third party caused your injuries due to negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against them.
Common third parties which could be liable for workplace injuries include:
- On-site third parties such as contractors, architects, and property owners
- Manufacturers of toxic substances and chemicals
- Manufacturers of defective products or equipment
- Employers who failed to provide workers' comp insurance
Workplace personal injury claims are complex and require the guidance of an experienced work injury lawyer. If you think you may have a claim, we can help you gather the documents and evidence you need for your case.
Industries With Exemptions
Even though most injured employees can't file lawsuits, workers in certain industries are permitted to sue their employers if their negligence caused a work-related injury. Offshore workers are protected by the Jones Act, which allows seamen and other maritime workers to hold negligent employers liable for injury-related expenses. Railroad workers are similarly protected by the Federal Employer Liabilities Act (FELA).
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Legal guidance is necessary for those who think they may have a third party personal injury claim. But an experienced attorney can be useful for standard Workers' Comp claims as well. The process can become complicated if you have severe or debilitating injuries. Additionally, your employer's insurance representatives will do what they can to limit or flat out deny your coverage.
If your claim is denied or you receive inadequate compensation, a respected work injury attorney can take on the insurance companies and secure the full compensation you need while you recover from your injuries. Work injury claims are all unique and must be evaluated individually. At Monheit Law, we offer free consultations so that you can see if you have a case with no risk involved. If we decide to take your case, you pay nothing until we win.
For Workers' Comp claims, you must file a claim within three years of being injured or discovering your injury.. For personal injury claims, it's two years after the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.