If you or a relative just received an extremely serious workplace injury, advocating for your and your family’s needs will be a priority in the coming days. You will need support from others, and you will need workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and pay your bills. Here is what to do first.
Insist on Seeking Medical Help Immediately
If you are seriously injured at work, getting immediate medical help is no joke. Your employer cannot prevent you from going to the emergency room or making a doctor’s appointment. Under the law, you can choose which doctor you visit for initial treatment. You do not have to wait for a “company doctor” to be available. Nor should you avoid an ambulance ride or expensive treatments because you cannot afford them. If you were injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company likely will have to pay for your treatment. One last reason to get emergency medical care: delaying treatment could worsen your injuries.
Push for Benefits to Start as Soon as Possible
The workers’ compensation insurance company has a brief “waiting period” after your employer reports the injury before the company has to start paying benefits. To help the benefits arrive more quickly, ensure that your employer gives you a First Report of Injury and sends the report to the insurer right away. It is possible that the insurer will initially deny you benefits. In that case, immediately seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney, who can help you challenge the denial.
Make Your Health a Priority
Some workers, feeling the need to provide for their families or be productive, try to return to work before they are fully healed from extremely serious injuries. Alternatively, sometimes the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company pushes for the employee to return to work so that they can save money. Remind yourself that healing is a priority above return to work and above loyalty to an employer. If you need additional medical services, ask for them, and if you feel you cannot return to work, say so.
Seek Professional Legal Advice
Standing up to an insurance company, arguing over disputes, and ensuring you have received all the benefits to which you are entitled is hard work. While you are healing from a serious injury, you will not have the energy or resources to do this work. Luckily, experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you navigate the system. Get a consultation with an attorney as soon as you can.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your serious 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.