Why Employees Must Report a Workplace Accident

Palm Beach Gardens Work Injury Lawyer

Accidents can happen at anytime in the work environment. There may be something about the job task, hazards, or equipment malfunctions that can cause serious injuries. When workers get hurt, it is important that they notify their employer that same day. Employees who do not report an injury accident may be risking denial of their claim, if they decide to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.

Q: Do I just tell my employer verbally about the incident?

A: Not only should you tell your employer verbally about the injury, but fill out an official incident report about what happened too. Ask for a copy of the report for your own records. An employee who is interested in using workers’ compensation benefits, may have a time limit for when they can apply. A denial may result if the accident was not disclosed in a timely manner to the company.

Q: What if an accident happened, but I don’t notice any injuries?

A: Injuries may not become noticeable until hours or days after the incident. It may be best to let your employer know about the accident even if there are no obvious marks, bruises, or pains at the time. Then, you can follow up with your employer if injuries do start to develop sometime afterward.

Q: What if my injury was due to repetitive motion?

A:  Workers’ compensation benefits may cover employees who have suffered from repetitive motion injuries. A common example of this type of injury is carpal tunnel syndrome from those who do a large amount of typing. Other injuries that are related to the job could be things like digestive conditions due to a high-stress job, or workers who are exposed to harmful chemicals and suffer from breathing problems.

Q: What if the accident was at least partially my fault?

A: Workers compensation programs do not necessarily focus on who was at-fault. The system was established to offer a resource for workers who were injured due to the job, to lessen any potential friction between employer and employee. It helps eliminates the blame-game from occurring in the workplace, and gives that worker a chance to get proper treatment before returning to regular work duties.

However, there are a couple of instances where a claim may be denied, such as if the worker was under the influence at the time of the accident, was breaking a law, or had intentionally caused the injury.

Q: Do I have to see the work-assigned doctor for treatment?

A: Ask your employer if they necessitate that you see a specific doctor, or if you can choose your own. Depending on the laws for your state and requirements of the workers’ comp insurance policy, there may be more or less flexibility in who becomes your treating doctor for the injury. You may have to receive an initial exam from the work chosen doctor first, but then can visit your own physician for a second opinion.

Many employees who have been injured are worried that the work-assigned doctor may be biased towards saving the company money. Those who have questions about workers’ compensation benefits may consult with a Palm Beach Gardens work injury lawyer, especially if they have a suspicion that their claim is not being handled appropriately.

Contact Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and why you should report a workplace accident.