Three Things You Must Do After a Workplace Accident
If you’ve suffered a work injury, your daily life can change dramatically—and very quickly. You may find yourself worrying over numerous issues, such as:
- How serious are your injuries? Will you suffer permanent damage?
- How will you pay the bills?
- Whom should you notify, and what should you do?
Workers’ compensation provides injured employees several types of benefits, provided they adhere to Texas rules and regulations. However, workers’ compensation is a tricky business in Texas, so being able to follow procedures to the letter can make a world of difference when it comes to securing your coverage. Unfortunately, many people make missteps in the days following their injury, which can prevent them from receiving the care and treatment they need.
Three Actions to Take to Secure Your Workers’ Comp Claim
There are three major things that you must do immediately following your accident to avoid jeopardizing your workers’ comp eligibility. These three actions protect your interest in receiving workers’ compensation, as well as ensure that you receive the immediate care you need.
- Seek medical attention. For workplace injuries that require immediate emergency medical care, your first priority is to get help. You can go to the closest emergency medical facility to attend to your needs, but after the emergency is over, you’ll need to choose a follow-up doctor who satisfies your employer’s workers’ compensation classifications—in-network, out-of-network, or non-network. If you’re unsure of whether you are in a workers’ compensation health care network, you’ll need to ask your employer. It’s important to find out and adhere to the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation’s rules; otherwise, you might forfeit your rights to benefits. Be sure to tell your doctor about each of your injuries in detail, including how you received them. Documentation is also critical. Keep copies of anything related to your injury, from dates of doctor visits and medical costs, to dates you missed work as a result of your injury.
- Report your injury to your employer. As soon as you’re physically able to do so, inform your employer of your injury and how it happened. In addition to a verbal report, submit a written or emailed notification so that there is definitive proof of your notification. Do not wait a day or two to see if the pain clears up or goes away on its own; it’s critical that you swiftly inform your supervisor, so there is no doubt when, where, and how your injury occurred. Your employer should have you complete an incident report explaining the situation in detail; if he doesn’t, request the form outright. Make sure you keep copies of everything you submit for your records.
- Learn about your rights as an injured worker. The intricacies of workers’ compensation law can be nearly impossible to understand without help. Although you don’t always need to be an expert, you’ll benefit greatly from knowing the basics. Read up, and contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you understand your rights and file a strong claim.
You’ll also need to inform the Texas Department of Insurance – Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) if there are any changes in your situation, such as if you begin working again or if you’re offered another job position.
It’s also a good idea to run your case by a well-known and experienced workers’ compensation injury lawyer before finalizing your workers’ comp claim. Schedule your FREE consultation with attorney Steve Lee today. He can help you understand and build a successful case. After all, you want to be sure that you’re receiving the full amount available to you, and that you’re not falling prey to any shady insurance or employer tactics, or unwittingly making mistakes that could damage your claim…don’t you? Call 713-921-4171, and see how Steve Lee can help you secure your legal benefits.