After being involved in a work-related accident, documenting your injury is critical if you hope to maximize the compensation you win through your workers’ comp claim.
While your worker’s compensation lawyer can handle the insurance company, it is essential to do what you can to document the severity of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life. That way, you can get the most out of your workers’ comp benefits.
Steps to Take Immediately After the Accident
Immediately after your on-the-job accident, you can take specific steps to start documenting your work injury and gather valuable evidence that can later be used to support your case. The steps include:
- Contacting the police and emergency responders
- Start taking photos and videos
- Obtain the contact information of witnesses and the other involved parties
- Collect other evidence of the accident scene
- Get a medical evaluation and treatment for your injuries
- Contact a worker’s compensation attorney for help
Contact the Police and Emergency Responders
One of the first things you can do to start documenting your work injury is to contact the police and emergency responders at the scene. Even in instances where you might initially believe your accident is minor, having police on the scene can go a long way in helping build your case.
If another party is responsible for causing your injuries, law enforcement will make a note in their police report. This police report and testimony from the responding officers could provide valuable evidence to prove how your injuries occurred and who is to blame for your damages.
Start Taking Photos and Videos
If you can, take photos of your injuries, the surrounding property damages, and anything else that can be used by accident reconstructionists or submitted with your workers’ comp insurance claim. This may include traffic conditions if you were involved in an on-the-job car accident, signs on the property if you were injured in a work-related slip and fall, and photos of any building structures or vehicle damages.
Now is also an excellent time to take video footage of the accident scene. You can return to this footage to obtain other compelling evidence. Your workers’ comp lawyer can access surveillance footage, dash cam video, body cam footage, and video from nearby homes and businesses that could have caught the accident on camera.
Obtain Contact Information
Now is also a great time to start getting contact information. You can start by getting the names and contact information of the parties responsible for causing your work-related injuries. If you were involved in a car accident at work, it is also a good idea to get the vehicle registration number, insurance details, and contact information of the party who hit you.
If there are witnesses to the accident, you should jot down their names and contact information. This way, if your attorney needs them for a deposition or the insurance company needs to verify how the accident occurred, they can quickly contact bystanders and witnesses.
Collect Other Evidence at the Accident Scene
There are many other types of evidence you could also collect at the accident scene, depending on how your work injuries occurred. For example, in the minutes after your work injury, it is a good idea to write down or compose a note on your smartphone that describes precisely how the accident happened. Be sure to include even the most minor of details, as these are details that you could forget as time goes on.
In the days and weeks after your work injury, Having a personal journal documenting how severely your injuries have affected your life will be crucial. It would be best if you also noted your pain levels and any other ways your daily life has been impacted by the injuries you sustained.
Get Medical Attention
You must obtain a medical evaluation after your work-related accident – this is crucial. You need to receive medical attention to have valuable medical records that can be used to prove that your work accident caused your resulting injuries. You can expect the insurance company to fight back when you do not have medical records to support the extent of your injuries.
Furthermore, the defense will likely argue that your injuries were caused in another way, not the work accident if you do not have medical evidence that shows you required health immediately afterward. Your physician can include notes in your medical records and be called upon to testify or provide a statement to the insurance company to access the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
Start Making Note of Damages
In the aftermath of your work accident, compiling a list of the various ways your life has been affected by your injuries is essential. Worker’s compensation benefits are designed to compensate you for lost income, healthcare benefits, and in some instances, vocational rehabilitation.
However, you may be able to take legal action through a civil claim against the liable party. Here, you could be entitled to compensation for every loss you experienced, not only economic damages.
Start to jot down when you cannot participate in activities you once loved if your earning potential has decreased, if you have any feelings of embarrassment or apprehension, and any other significant ways your life has been turned upside down by your work injuries.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer for Help
Get help from a worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as you can. The fact that you contacted a lawyer for health is evidence that your injuries have significantly impacted your life.
Whether you are pursuing a worker’s compensation claim and need help with a denial or are interested in filing a lawsuit against the liable party, you need your workers’ comp lawyer to start working on your case before the statute of limitations on your claims expires.
Meet with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
When you are ready to fight for the compensation and benefits you deserve, ensure you have an experienced legal advocate who is not afraid to go up against large insurance companies and liable parties.
Meet with a compassionate worker’s compensation lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm and determine what is next for your case. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today when you fill out our online contact form or call our office.