If you get injured at work, you have no guarantee that your employer will properly document what happened. You can protect yourself by documenting your workplace injury and sharing the documentation with your lawyer.
The Scene of the Injury
Depending on the type of injury and your workplace, you may have a chance to document the scene yourself. This could include taking photos on your cell phone or writing down which coworkers were there when you got injured. Your employer may have surveillance cameras or other documentation of the injury. When you report the injury, ask about saving this evidence.
If you have a long-term injury caused by repetitive motion or strain, you can still keep records of the injury. For example, you could keep a log of days you performed repetitive tasks causing you pain. You could write down how many times each day you have to perform a certain task. You can also keep track of medical treatment you receive for the injury before you report it to your employer.
The Initial Report
When you first report your injury to your employer, put the report in writing if at all possible. Your employer may have an injury report form to use for this purpose. Explain in detail what happened and how you have been injured on the form. If your employer has no form, try to make the report using a written note. Keep a copy of the form or note, or write down what your note said. If you speak to someone about the injury, write down when you talked and what you talked about.
Make sure the right person at work receives your report. This may be a safety manager, Human Resources, or your supervisor. Write down when you gave them the report and any response they made at the time. Keep copies of your initial report in a safe place.
Medical Treatment Immediately After the Injury
After you are injured but before you hear from the insurance company, keep careful track of any medical care or treatment you receive through your employer. Write down when you went to the doctor, what happened, whether you received a diagnosis, and what treatment you received. Keep a list of payments for prescriptions or co-pays. You will need all of these records to show the insurance company.
Be sure to share all of this documentation with your workers’ compensation lawyer. Your lawyer can use your records to support your claim. If your employer kept bad records, your hard work will pay off.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.