Most folks growing up had the experience where they heard from their parents, teachers, pastors, or coaches that honesty is the best policy. That same time tested maxim applies to workers’ compensation claims as well.
Of course, if you are injured on the job you need to immediately report the injury and make sure your supervisor or manager does a written report of the accident or injury. It is critical you get a copy of this report for your records, and your attorney. Ask your employer to send you to the company physician immediately.
But sometimes when a worker gets hurt on the job, other factors come into play the moment the worker tries to report the injury to their supervisor. Numerous times we have received calls from injured workers who when hurt on the job were told by their employers that if they filed the claim they would be summarily terminated. In that scenario, the injured worker would keep working as best they could with their injury, and either never get medical care, or file health insurance and simply not inform their doctor that they were hurt in the job. Inevitably, the call we get is when the person gets terminated anyway, and conveniently for their employer there is no documentation at work, or in the medical records that the injury occurred on the job.
Another situation an injured worker may find themselves in when they get hurt on the job is when their employer tells them they will continue to pay their full wages, and all of their medical expenses, but to go to the hospital and tell the doctor that they were hurt at home, or somewhere else other than the job. The employer then denies the accident ever happened, and when the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company gets the hospital records predictably they deny the claim because the medical records do not document that an injury happened at work. The injured worker then has a huge and often insurmountable uphill climb to prove their accident happened on the job.
So, if you are hurt on the job, honesty is the best policy. Make sure your claim is reported and documented even if your employer is threatening your job status. Tell your doctors that the accident happened on the job, and don’t delay in getting medical treatment. Go to the doctors as soon as possible! Because you simply cannot afford to assume that your employer will do the “right thing.” Your employer will take care of his/her own interests, and you need to take care of your interests. Tippens & Zurosky has knowledgeable, experienced attorneys who can fight for your rights during this often long and difficult workers’ compensation process. Call us toll-free at 877-372-3580, or at 704-343-0018, for a free consultation. Let us help you!