If you suffer an injury in the workplace, your first instinct may be to keep your mouth shut and keep on with your day. You may be worried how your boss would react to news of your injury, or maybe you’re considering how time away from work could affect your financial stability. In some ways, working through the injury may seem like the right thing to do, but doing so could have a lot of negative fallout. We explain what’s on the line if you try to push through an injury and keep working, and we share what you should do instead.
Don’t Risk Working Through An Injury
There are a number of reasons why working through an injury can cause problems for you in the future, including:
Difficulty Proving Eventual Claim – First and foremost, it will be a lot harder to prove that you suffered a legitimate work injury if you don’t report the accident at the outset. If the insurance provider reads that you waited a week to report the injury because you hoped it would heal on its own, they will have no problem denying your claim on the basis that you can’t definitively prove that the original injury occurred at work. Waiting to report your injury will only serve to discredit your claim if you do need to file for benefits.
Make It Worse – There’s also the distinct possibility that trying to work through an injury will only make it worse. If an action at work results in a bulging spinal disc and you try to keep doing all required tasks, there’s a good chance that disc will herniate and cause even more pain. If the original work injury gets worse when you’re off the clock, the insurance company may deny benefits and claim that the entire injury occurred off the clock.
Loss of Evidence – If you don’t report your work injury right away, any evidence that could be used to strengthen your claim may disappear as well. Video evidence may be deleted, witness accounts may become less credible and it will become harder to prove your eventual claim.
There’s Really Nothing To Lose – It is illegal for a company to retaliate towards a worker for filing an injury report or for pursuing a compensation claim. They can’t cut your hours, make you work odd shifts or fire you because you suffered an injury. If they do, you’ll have another lawsuit on your hands. Also, there’s no harm in reporting the injury and then eventually deciding you’re not going to file a claim, but it’s much harder to try and get an injury award if you dragged your feet reporting the injury in the first place.
Instead of trying to hide your work injury and power through the pain, the first thing you should do is report the injury. Get it on the record and seek medical attention if necessary. If it turns out that you’re fine a day later, so be it. But if the injury lingers or makes it impossible for you to safely perform your job, your next step should be to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. We can handle every aspect of your case and ensure you get the compensation you deserve, all while you just focus on healing.
You might be concerned that stepping away from work will hurt your financial stability, but not following the proper channels after a work injury can limit or even prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve, leading to an even bigger financial crisis. If you truly care about your financial well-being, report the injury and seek compensation if it prevents you from working.
For more information, or for help with any aspect of your injury claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office today.
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