Each year, approximately three million workers in the United States suffer from a work injury or illness. Some suffer only minor injuries and are eventually able to return to work. Others experience more severe injuries, such as head injuries or spinal injuries, which may leave them unable to work for an extended amount of time. The most serious may experience catastrophic injuries, permanent disability, and even death. Yet all have one thing in common: it is critical that each one knows how to effectively protect their rights.
The Importance of Timely Reporting
Work injuries should always be reported to your employer immediately after the injury occurs or as soon as is practical. At maximum, the injury should be reported within 45 days. If the possible injury involves exposure to radiation, the maximum time of reporting is 90 days after exposure. Any delays that extend beyond these constraints can become highly problematic and could potentially result in a denial of your claim or delay of benefits. Do not take any chances; report your injury immediately.
Documentation Is Critical
From a copy of the injury report to the medical records from the physician treating you, documentation is a critical component of any work injury case. It becomes even more paramount to have this information when pursuing a third-party negligence case, when looking at total temporary or permanent disability or if you are facing a possible dispute with your employer. Play it safe and always retain a copy of any documentation for your own personal records. This will ensure you have everything you and your attorney will need to pursue fair compensation.
Get a Second Opinion
If you are referred to a specific physician by your employer and feel that the diagnosis, limitations, treatment, or proposed time off work may be inaccurate, get a second opinion. You have the right to seek services from another pre-approved physician through your employer if you feel that the treatment or services you are receiving are subpar. Further, you have the right to choose your own physician if the provided care is inadequate or improper. For more information about seeking services from another physician, or on how to obtain a second opinion, talk to an experienced workers’ compensation injury lawyer about your case.
Know When Legal Help Is Needed
Not all work injury cases may need the skills or resources of an attorney. Yet those that are dealing with more serious injuries—including those that result in total temporary or permanent disability—often benefit greatly from the experience of a skilled workplace injury lawyer. This ensures their rights are protected, and it gives them the highest chance at receiving the maximum compensation possible.
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious or catastrophic work injury, contact the dedicated Kane County workers’ compensation attorneys at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C. for guidance. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation today.