I Have Been Injured On The Job, Now What?
During the past 25 years, I have been asked this question hundreds of times. Callers frequently want to know what is covered under South Carolina workers compensation law and what is necessary to get these benefits? At the Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A., we aggressively work our clients’ workers compensation cases upon arrival. However, there are several things an employee should do immediately after they are injured to insure their best recovery.
As soon as the injury occurs, tell your supervisor.
This, of course, assumes that the injured employee is capable of doing so after the accident. Ask your supervisor to complete an accident report or a first report of injury form. It is not unusual to meet resistance when asking for this report and many supervisors will often try to get the employee to “walk it off” or “give it a couple of days.” Unfortunately, delay in reporting the injury or getting medical treatment seldom leads to a good outcome.
Ask your employer to send you to a doctor for an immediate evaluation & possible treatment.
The sooner you get medical care, the better chance of recovery. If your employer will not send you to a doctor, you should either call the company’s workers compensation carrier or obtain an attorney for assistance.
When you see the doctor make sure you document every injury that occurred.
Upon arrival to most medical facilities, you will be given an intake form to record what happened and to identify the parts of your body that were injured. Make sure to write everything on the intake form regarding the injuries sustained. It’s much easier to get treatment for injuries that are initially reported than for those that “seem to arise” months later. Unfortunately, many people who contact us have run into this problem where they reported an injured leg or hip but failed to mention that they also hurt their back during the accident.
Make sure you understand your doctor’s plan for treating your injuries.
Does he or she want to see you again? Are you being kept out of work? (Remember, if the doctor is not keeping you out of work, then you will be expected to return to the job.) Does the doctor want you to receive diagnostic testing such as an x-ray or MRI? If the doctor is keeping you out of work, ask for a work restriction note.
If he or she wants further testing or treatment, ask for a copy of the prescription. The staff at the Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A. want to get you the best care possible. If you can bring us a note or prescription from the doctor, it will be much easier for us to deal with the insurance carrier and get you the care you need.
Once your treatment is completed, you will be released by the doctor.
Before discussing settlement, we will ask if you believe everything from a medical standpoint has been done to make you well. If so, we will go over the settlement process. If you believe that you need additional medical treatment, we will either request a second opinion from the worker’s compensation carrier or send you to a physician on our own for an independent medical examination. You will be directly involved in your case from the beginning and no decision will be made without your input.
Workers compensation can be frustrating and the process sometimes moves slowly.
However, when you have the right information and take the appropriate steps, success can and will be achieved! If you have any questions about your rights under our worker’s compensation laws or have been injured on the job and need assistance, please (803) 369-3968 and are located at 1901 Gadsden Street, Suite B, Columbia, SC 29201.
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