When you have suffered a workplace injury, your world can get turned upside down very quickly. Along with the serious injuries you now have, your thoughts turn to the numerous medical bills that will follow and the paychecks that may stop if you have to be off from work for a period of time. Since your injuries occurred at work, it is only fair that your employer pays your medical bills. However, since many employers often hesitate to do so, it is important you do all you can to make this happen. As to how you can get the results you seek, take the following steps.
Report Your Injuries
If your employer does not realize you were injured on the job, they will not pay your medical bills. Therefore, always report any injuries you sustain as quickly as possible to your supervisor. This is important, since some injuries such as concussions may show more serious symptoms later on and require more treatment than expected. Also, by reporting your injuries, an accident report will be filed, which will be important when filing insurance claims or even a personal injury lawsuit.
Since most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, you should always take advantage of this benefit should you be injured on the job. To have a successful workers’ comp claim, you should of course do as was just mentioned and report your injuries immediately. In addition, you should work closely with your employer’s Human Resources department to ensure you are treated by doctors who will accept payment through the workers’ compensation program. If all goes as planned, the workers’ compensation benefits will pay for your doctor visits, medications, treatments such as physical therapy, and even provide you with supplemental wages to help with other expenses.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
While workers’ compensation can be helpful, there are times when employers may refuse to cooperate with you about your injuries. Whether your employer is claiming you were not injured or in fact were careless in performing your duties and thus got hurt on the job, these circumstances may make it necessary for you to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or a third-party whose negligence led to your injuries. Whatever the case may be, winning a personal injury lawsuit will likely mean you can recover much more compensation for your injuries than you would have through workers’ compensation. Whether you were injured by a defective product or because your employer was negligent in placing you into an unnecessarily dangerous situation on the job, filing a lawsuit may be the only way you get compensated for your medical bills.
Negotiating a Settlement
When you are hurt while at work and know you will be pursuing a workers’ comp claim or possibly a lawsuit, it is always recommended you hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. By doing so, you can often find yourself in the position of being able to reach an out-of-court settlement for compensation. Occurring more often than many people realize, these negotiated settlements take place when an employer is questioning the employee’s injuries and refusing to cooperate on a workers’ comp claim. When this happens, you will need to rely on a lawyer who is experienced in these matters. By being able to use the evidence related to your injury, your attorney can pressure your employer and their insurance company into agreeing to a settlement. Otherwise, if the case is allowed to proceed to trial, your employer could potentially be ordered to pay far more than they will in a settlement.
While it may be an arduous process at times, it is vital those who were responsible for your injuries be held accountable and pay for your medical bills. By making a good-faith effort with your employer and possibly hiring an attorney when needed, you can get the compensation you need and deserve.