3 Steps you Should Take Immediately! (Report, Document and Reqeust)
When you suffer an injury at work, there are several factors that you need to consider as you take action to protect your rights as an employee. Whether or not you believe that your injury is serious enough, you need understand the effect of the actions that you take immediately following the incident that caused your injury. It could mean the difference between you ever being able to work again and provide for your family. So, although this article focuses on only three steps you should take following a work injury in a non-subscriber case, there are going to be several issues that come up along the way as you navigate your work injury case. Texas Non-subscriber cases are riddle filled mazes! Don’t ignore or minimalize your injury and, do your research so that you know what you are dealing with.
3 Steps you Should Immediately Follow in A Texas Non-Subscriber Case:
- Report the Injury to Your Immediate Supervisor On the Day of the Incident!
- Document the Incident (Witnesses, Causes, Equipment Involved)!
- Request Medical Attention!
Reporting the Injury Gives you a Fighting Chance!
Don’t ignore your injury. In Texas non-subscriber cases, your employer is not going to do you any favors by pushing you to report an injury. In many cases, your supervisor and management at the company receive incentives when there are less injuries reported. Therefore, most supervisors will attempt to minimalize a verbally reported injury in hopes that the injured employee never completes a written report. If you allow your supervisor to ignore you, you’re going to have a difficult time proving that an incident occurred and that you were injured enough to report it. Don’t ignore your injury and don’t let your employer ignore your complaints!
Once you have verbally reported your injury to your supervisor, he or she needs to take the steps necessary to open your claim which begins with completing an incident report. When completing the incident report, pay close attention to the information that your supervisor completes on the form before you sign it. Often times, supervisors will complete a report that either provided the wrong information or, is very basic and unclear. Be sure you verify this information before signing anything!
If you are allowed to complete the information on the report, you need to be as thorough as possible, describing everything you can about:
- How the incident occurred.
- What equipment was involved.
- What body parts you injured.
- Names of witnesses.
If you are unable to immediately complete an incident report, do everything you can to verbally explain to management that you were injured on the job. At some point, someone with some sense will realize that they have to complete an incident report and open a claim for you!.
Document the Incident
Even after verbally reporting an incident and completing a written report, there are several other steps you can take to document the incident that caused your injury. It’s very important that you do what you can to document everything that you can about how the injury occurred from the very instant that you’re injured because your employer is going to do everything they can to prove that it didn’t happen the way you say it did! Don’t back down. Here are few steps you can take to document your work injury:
- Take photographs or video of the incident scene and equipment involved.
- Take down the names and phone numbers of co-workers that may have seen what happened.
- Take down notes or take photos of any paperwork that could explain what you were doing.
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Take notes of how your injuries are getting worse or getting better.
- Keep the name of the supervisor that you first reported the injury to.
- Make note of any cameras in the area where your incident occurred.
In short, do everything you can to gather and save as much information as possible about how your incident occurred. This way, you have fighting chances to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injury.
Request Medical Attention!
Once you convince you supervisor to complete an incident report, your employer or an assigned adjuster should send you to one of the company’s clinics. If they do not, you need to strongly insist that they provide you with medical attention especially in serious work injuries.
In a Texas non-subscriber work injury case, the care is managed by a third-party administrator (TPA) and they usually provide the names of the clinics where you can go for treatment and, they approve or reject the treatment and tests that the doctors recommend for you. Although the treatment provide by these clinics are usually very minimal, they serve the purpose of documenting the seriousness of your injuries.
Unless your injury is very serious where the immediate effect of the injury is evident in your appearance and physical limitations, the doctors you see at a company clinic will likely send you back to work with some level of restrictions. Don’t expect them to send you home and keep you from work to rest and get better. These doctors have specific instructions from your employer’s insurance to send injured workers back to work so that the insurance does not have to pay wages because the employee is at home. You have rights to see your own doctor but, you need to understand that this could affect your ability to continue treatment under your employer’s insurance.
What Do I do After I’ve Followed these Three Steps?
If you need legal assistance, do your research and find a lawyer that knows how to handle Texas Non-Subscribers cases. As mentioned before, these cases are not your typical Texas Workers’ Compensation case. They are very different because you could have more rights to file a lawsuit if you end up having long-term limitations from your injuries.
At Sandoval Law Firm, PLLC, as your attorney, I will make sure that you understand your rights and what we will do to make sure that you get fairly compensated. I will work very hard for you, and I will make sure that expectations are set from the beginning.
An attorney-client relationship is built on trust and confidence, and I take this very seriously. If you’ve been injured at work working for a non-subscriber, do your research!