What to Do When You Are Injured at Work
Every work injury should be immediately reported to the injured worker’s supervisor.
VA has a 30-day reporting requirement, 60 days in the case of an occupational exposure to a toxic substance, and a claim can be denied if the reporting requirement is not met. Beyond this, however, immediately reporting the injury and accident and filling out an accident report is an excellent way to document your accident and injury occurred when and how you recall it. Without such documentation, questions arise as to what occurred between the time and date of the injury and when it was first reported. Insurance adjusters will deny a claim if they believe too much time has elapsed between an accident and the 1st report, as they may suspect some other event was responsible for the injury.
Consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as is possible following a work place injury is also highly encouraged. Additionally, if you have any questions about how to accurately describe your accident, speaking to a Workers’ Compensation attorney first is highly advised. Often giving a recorded statement first, without legal representation, to an insurance adjuster can lead to disaster in a workers’ compensation case. The insurance adjuster often is someone who understands the working of the system and may ask questions aimed at an unsuspecting and injured worker, which are designed to provide a basis to deny a claim.
Light Duty Requirement
Getting an updated, written work status at each doctor’s visit is critical and the responsibility of the injured worker!
Either being totally disabled or on a light duty status forms the basic requirement that allows for the payment of workers’ compensation wage loss benefits. Without a note from the doctor, stating an injured worker has a light duty or completely disabled status, the insurance adjuster will not pay wage loss benefits. For this reason, it is absolutely critical that an injured worker discusses his or her physical and/or mental status with the treating doctor during each visit and to obtain that updated status in writing.