US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 5,333 workers died from a work-related injury in the U.S. in 2019, whereas the frequency of non-fatal work injuries was 2.8 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The above numbers show that there’s a high chance that those working in any company face a work injury during their lifetime, especially if the job is related to any kind of machinery or manual labor. While you may think you are to blame, often the real culprit is faulty equipment or lack of necessary safety training.
Due to the panic created in such a situation, employees are likely to make mistakes and forget the proper course of action they need to take. This article outlines some of those mistakes that could easily be avoided and reduce your chances of decreasing the amount of any settlement or benefits you receive.
- Not Reporting the Job Injury Immediately
In most states, laws require that the employee disclose the injury immediately to their safety officer or supervisor. It’s pertinent that you do so in a timely manner to the relevant official.
Similarly, if you observe delays or negligence being done with regards to your injury, it’s important to start thinking of legal action urgently, since there’s usually a time limit during which you can initiate a legal recourse if you have any objections in your employer’s management of your case.
- Not Consulting a Professional Law Firm
Another important mistake is not getting proper consultation from a law firm and discussing the best way forward with them.
Not only can experienced injury lawyers in Washington DC help you avoid any unfair treatment from your employee, but they will also help you get your due workers compensation.
Your employer and insurance company will have a legal team on their end, and while you could always represent yourself in court, it is always much more preferable to have a legal team by your side. This gives you a proper chance of the lawsuit going in your favor, and you getting your due compensation.
- Not Returning to Work When Possible
It’s also important that you consult with your doctor and find out your “work” status. If your doctor suggests that you are fit for “light” work, then you should convey this to your employer, and they’re obligated to find a position to fit your current restrictions.
However, if you don’t return to work when you’re able to do so, it might be considered as a voluntary loss of income, and result in decreased compensation. It might also give your employee grounds for your termination due to your “refusal to work”.
- Failing to Report Previous or Full Extent of Injuries
Another common mistake is failing to mistake minor injuries that you may have received in the past while on the job. Even if the injury you faced in the past was minor, or had nothing to do with the current incident, it’s key that you mention your complete work injury history in front of your doctor or insurance adjuster.
Failure to do so might enable your employer to have the current injury considered as fraud or suggest that the current injury was a pre-existing condition.
So, the only way to avoid adding salt on the wound is to avoid such common mistakes that could happen after a work injury and try getting legal counsel as soon as possible to better your chances of getting your full rights.