Usually, when our Tampa workers’ comp attorneys meet with a new client, they want to know what to do next. Here, we are going to discuss what not to do after a workplace injury. Sometimes, it is the things you don’t do that can protect you in situations like this. If you have suffered a workplace injury, you need to heed the following advice in order to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Never Refuse Medical Treatment, No Matter How Minor Your Injury
It is easy to discount a workplace injury. You may feel like maybe you caused the injury somehow. We always tell our clients that they should never refuse medical treatment. If you do, you are setting the stage for your workers’ compensation claim to be denied.
If you refuse medical treatment, your employer will assume that there is nothing wrong. If you come back in a day or two and say your workplace injuries are worse than you thought, there’s a good chance your employer will deny your claim.
They’ll claim that something other than your workplace accident caused your injuries. The longer you wait to see medical treatment, the harder it will be to prove that your injuries are the result of your workplace accident.
Do Not Discuss Your Workplace Accident with Anyone, Including Your Employer
When you report your workplace injury, your manager will ask you a bunch of questions. While you may think they have your best interests at heart, they may be setting you up. If they ask enough questions, they hope that you’ll let it slip that your injuries aren’t as bad as you think they are. Or they will try to get you to admit that the injuries took place on personal time.
Our Tampa workers’ comp attorneys always tell our clients not to talk to anybody about their workplace injury. Other than your lawyer, there is nobody who should be talking to you about what happened. In fact, once you hire a Tampa workers’ comp attorney, your employer isn’t allowed to approach you about what happened. All communication needs to go through your attorney’s office.
Never Sign Anything Without Showing it to Your Tampa Workers’ Comp Attorney
There is always the chance that your employer will try to get you to sign a document absolving them of liability. Typically, when your manager or Human Resources representative presents you with a document, they don’t give you a chance to read it. They tell you it’s standard procedure for any employee who suffers a workplace injury.
The next thing you know, your company tells you that they have proof that your injuries took place somewhere other than work. Or they may claim that you signed a waiver, indicating that you didn’t need medical treatment.
Do not sign anything until after your Tampa workers’ comp attorney has a chance to review it. Sometimes, companies purposely use complicated language to try to trick an employee. This may not sound fair, but, when it comes to business, most people don’t play fair.
You Must Not Insist on Going Back to Work After Your Workplace Injury
One other thing you want to avoid is insisting that you’re okay to go right back to work. Our Tampa workers’ comp attorneys have had clients who were such loyal employees, they felt bad being out on workers’ comp. They explain that they didn’t want to let their employer down. Or they’re afraid that they’ll go without a paycheck if they let on that their workplace injuries are serious.
All we can say is that there is never a good reason to go immediately back to work if you are hurt. You owe it to yourself to seek immediate medical treatment. Again, even if your workplace injuries are minor, you need to protect yourself.
For all you know, you could find out that you need surgery or that your injuries are much worse than you thought. There is only so much your Tampa workers’ comp attorney can do to protect you after the fact.
Don’t Seek Treatment from Anyone Other Than Your Workers’ Compensation Doctor
While this may sound obvious, you should never go to your primary doctor for medical treatment. You are legally required to go to your assigned workers’ compensation doctor. They are approved by the state and are the only people who can treat an injured employee. Once you go to another doctor, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Do Call an Experienced Tampa Workers’ Comp Attorney About Your Workplace Injury
If you want to protect your rights after a workplace injury, you should talk to a Tampa workers’ comp attorney right away. Even if you work for an amazing company, you have no idea how they’ll treat you once you file a workers’ compensation claim. When an employee suffers a workplace injury, their employer sees them as a liability.
They will try to get you to say that something other than your job caused your workplace injury. They may try to convince you that your injuries aren’t all that serious. The last thing they want to do is have their workers comp insurance premiums go up.
Even if they want to do the right thing, there’s no telling what their insurance company will do. Your best option is to meet with a Tampa workers’ comp attorney before you even file your workers compensation paperwork.
We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation because we understand how scared and frustrated you must be. When you suffer a workplace injury, several things go through your mind. You may worry about whether you’ll have a job when you recover from your injuries. You will also worry about how you’ll pay your bills in the meantime.
Rather than do all this worrying on your own, talk to one of our workers’ comp lawyers in Tampa, FL. They can answer any questions you may have and explain what your options are. They will also help you get your claim filed so you can receive your benefits as soon as possible.
Since the initial consultation won’t cost you anything, there is no reason to put it off. Call today and set up a date and time to come into the office.