The most recent data on workplace injuries in the United States shows approximately 2.7 million non-lethal injuries per year. However, the number of people who receive full benefits is far fewer.
But how do you make sure you get all the benefits you deserve after an injury on the job?
In this article, we discuss some of the most common mistakes workers make after a workplace injury. We also offer our best advice in this workplace injury guide. Read on to get the support and compensation you deserve.
Not Seeking Care
The most common mistake workers make after an injury on the job is failing to seek medical care. This can be due to underestimating an injury, cost concerns, or even fear of repercussions from the workplace.
However, every workplace injury should be treated. Even minor injuries can have a lasting impact on your overall health. They can even affect your ability to work later in life, so don’t delay and seek care immediately.
Underselling Your Injuries
Even when an employee seeks care, some undersell their injuries to their medical care team. When they ask themselves, ‘what is a workplace injury,’ they think of broken bones or concussion, so they minimize their injury.
The risk of not providing all of your symptoms or details of the accident or injury can affect your recovery. Not only does it limit your medical professional’s ability to help you, but it can also lead to ineffective treatment.
Failing to Report an Injury on the Job
One of our top workplace injury tips is to always report it when it happens. Your leadership team is responsible for recording these events and encouraging you to seek treatment for any injuries.
The reasons why employees tend not to report a workplace injury is the same as why they don’t seek treatment. However, not reporting your injury can only end up hurting you in the long run, especially if you need care.
Not Reporting to Your Employer
For serious injuries, the first and most important step to take afterward is seeking treatment. Your second step is to report it to your employer (this can be your first step for minor injuries, but don’t delay treatment).
There are certain rules in place to protect your employer, which require you to report your injury within a certain timeframe. Failing to do so could affect your claim and benefits or lead to long and expensive litigation.
Not Filing a Report
While getting care after an injury on the job, document the injury so your medical team knows it’s a workplace injury. You won’t have to pay for treatment upfront and they will give you the necessary paperwork.
Your employer will need copies of this documentation to file with their insurance company. Having a report filed is essential in accessing the benefits you need.
Disregarding Medical Advice
Don’t ignore your medical team’s workplace injury advice after your appointment. Their job is to create a treatment plan that helps you recover and gets you back to work as quickly as possible.
Ignoring Follow-Up Visits
Follow-up care can be inconvenient and even painful, but make sure you commit to it. Some workers feel additional care is unnecessary for recovery, but not following their advice could negatively impact your coverage.
Returning to Work Too Soon
At the end of your visit, your doctor will give you some workplace injury advice in terms of activity. Moderate to severe injuries may require significant changes to your daily routine and activity level.
You might not be able to return to work or be limited in what you can or should do. Returning to work as quickly as possible might be tempting but it can hurt your recovery. It can even make your injury worse than before.
Returning to Work Too Late
Returning to work at the appropriate time is something you and your doctor decide on together. Once you’re cleared for work, it’s important that you return as soon as possible.
Delaying your return to work or refusing to work may lead to limitations on your workers’ compensation coverage. Depending on the circumstances, this can be seen as a voluntary refusal of income.
Not Learning Their Rights
Whether you’ve been injured in the past or have never had to deal with an injury on the job, take the time to learn your rights. Your employer should have policies in place in the event of a workplace injury, but not all do.
Ask your employer to explain the procedure for injuries on the job and what you need to do for coverage. If they don’t have the answer, they should provide you with information on how to find out.
Failing to Claim Benefits
When workers don’t know the details of workers’ compensation, they fail to claim their benefits. This means they pay out of pocket for care, lose paid working hours, or continue working while injured.
Navigating Workers’ Compensation Alone
While you should understand the details of your company’s injury protocols, don’t make the mistake of navigating workers’ compensation alone. It’s a complex system with a lot of details that are confusing to understand.
Even if you trust your employer, you shouldn’t allow their insurance company to handle the claim for you. The insurance company has your employer’s best interest at heart and not yours.
Not Hiring an Attorney
If you commit any of our workplace injury tips to memory, make sure it’s the one about hiring an attorney. You need a dedicated and experienced professional to advocate for your rights as an injured employee.
Many workers make the mistake of not hiring an attorney after their injury and don’t receive fair compensation. They don’t know how to fight for more coverage or that they should fight for more coverage.
Accepting a Rejected Claim
Our workplace injury guide wouldn’t be complete without reminding you that you shouldn’t settle for a denied insurance claim. Your employer’s insurance company wants to pay as little as possible for your recovery.
By working with legal professionals, you won’t have to worry about how to fight a denied claim. If you’re involved in a workplace tragedy, your family can also receive legal support in collecting due compensation.
Get Help After an Injury on the Job
Following our workplace injury guide can prevent you from making costly mistakes following an injury on the job. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you don’t have to navigate coverage alone nor should you.
Get the help you need by contacting our team as soon as possible.