4 Steps to take after an Accident to Ensure Your Workers' Compensation Claim is Paid

No insurance company wants to pay up on a claim, so they they're constantly finding ways not to pay or to minimize how much they have to pay out once a claim is filed. If you're hurt while doing your job, there are certain benefits you're allowed to claim.  Your conduct after injury, however, determines whether or not the claim will be paid in full. These are the steps to take when you've been hurt in order to maximize your chances of getting your full benefits.

1. Get treated

Set up an appointment to see the doctor as soon as possible after you've been hurt. If not an emergency, go to the facilities covered by your insurer. In emergencies, go to the nearest clinic/hospital for treatment. The insurer will generally assume that your injury wasn't serious if you take too long before getting treatment. In addition, keep all your medical appointments after the first visit, otherwise they may claim that you weren't injured severely or you've healed and hence reduce your compensation.

2. Make a workplace report

There is a statutory period within which workplace injuries can be reported. As soon as possible after seeking treatment, you should report your injury to the relevant supervisor. If you can safely report the injury before going to be treated, do so. Insurers are generally reticent about paying claims that were filed long after the injury occurred. In addition, if your injury will cause you to miss work, ensure that your supervisor is made aware as soon as possible.

3. Describe your injury in detail

At your initial medical visit, explain what happened prior to and following your injury in detail and ensure that this is recorded in your history. This may be tricky because the healthcare providers prepare the report, but try to elaborate as best you can, taking care to mention that the accident occurred at work. This also applies to your report to the employer.

In certain cases, you may develop symptoms without a known traumatic trigger (e.g. if your work involves repetitive motions or long periods of work/concentration). Mention the nature of your job to your caregiver, as well as your belief that symptoms were the result of the work you do. A lot of weight will be placed on your initial report to the doctor and employer, therefore strive to be accurate.

4. Accurately fill your accident report

You will also be asked to fill an accident report which will be forwarded to the insurer. If you're not in the right frame of mind to fill it out accurately, ask the employer to allow you time to recover. Ensure that the accident report corroborates your statements to the doctor as well as the initial reports to the supervisor. Any inconsistencies may adversely affect your claim. If a colleague witnessed your injury taking place, take down their names and have them make statements. You may need them to corroborate that your injury happened at work.

If you need help filing a claim or have more questions about what to do after getting injured at work, contact a local compensation lawyer.