The last thing someone thinks about after they are first injured is claims or receiving money. An injured worker should do a few things as soon as possible after the accident. If you do not take these precautions, it will be more difficult for you to collect full value for your claim. The most important thing to do after you've been injured is to seek proper medical care. See a doctor as soon as possible to protect your claim.
An additional benefit of seeing the doctor early is that it will help to establish your workers' compensation claim. If you wait several weeks after you've been injured before you see a doctor, the delay raises questions about whether you were actually injured on the job. The insurance company will try to claim that you were injured in some other activity outside of work. When you are in your doctors office or in the hospital, be sure to tell your employer that you were injured at work. Give your doctor all information about how you were injured, how the injury effected your body, what you felt at the time of and after the accident and all other details about the injury.
Try to recall and write down the names of all co-workers who may have witnessed your accident. If there is a dispute about how the accident happened, these witnesses will be very important. Report the accident in writing and give the written report to the appropriate person at your job. The proper person would be your supervisor or the human resources department or someone else in management. The safest course is to make several copies of your written report and give it to more than one person. You should send a written report ,properly addressed, to your employer.
North Carolina law requires that an injured worker give a written report of the injury to his employer within 30 days of the accident. If it has already been longer than 30 says since your accident, do not panic. Although the law requires you to make a written notice to your employer within 30 days from the date of the accident, failure to do so will usually not prevent you from collecting. In an emergency situation, you should seek treatment from the first doctor available. However, once the emergency has subsided, you should give your employer a chance to choose your doctors and other health care providers. If your employer accepts responsibility for your claim, your employer has the right to direct your medical care and to decide what doctors you should see.
Outside of an emergency situation, if you choose your own doctor, without allowing your employer to be involved in the decision, it may be difficult to require your employer to pay that doctor. From the first opportunity immediately after the accident and throughout the entire claims process, you should keep a written diary of all important information relative to your accident and your claim. You should make a written account to yourself of how the accident happened, your trips to the doctor, your conversations with your employer's management and with representatives from the insurance company. If at any time you think that your employer or the insurance company is not treating you fairly, call an experienced workers' compensation lawyer for a consultation. Most lawyers will not charge for the initial consultation.
Brent Adams has represented North Carolina injured workers for more than 35 years. For useful information to help you collect full value for your on the job injury, visit his web site NCPersonalInjuryLaw.com Adams has written a 200 page book just for North Carolina injured workers to help them successfully handle their own workers' compensation claim. For a free, no obligation copy of How To Get Top Dollar For Your Workers' Compensation Claim go to InjuredWorkersBook.com