If you’ve ever been hurt in an accident — whether a car accident or work accident — it is common that you don’t even realize that you were injured until some time after the accident. It may be hours or even days after that you realize that nagging ache or pain is something more serious and disabling. If you suffer a work injury at work, there are certain things that you need to do or make sure your employer does to protect your right to receive workers compensation benefits in Massachusetts. Here is a list of five things that you should do or ask your employer to do after a work accident:
- Report The Accident. The first and most important thing you need to do to protect your right to receive workers compensation is to report the accident to your employer. If your employer has a policy of completing a company work accident report, make sure that you fill out an accident report. If not, make sure that you document that you reported the accident to your employer. You can do this by simply sending a written memo or even an email to your manager or supervisor documenting the date, time and description of your work accident. This is very important in the event that your employer tries to deny that the accident occurred at work.
- Witnesses. Make sure that you get the names and contact information of any witnesses to your accident whether they are coworkers or someone outside your company. It is no help if you can’t locate a witness if you don’t have the person’s full name and contact information. Get the name, telephone number and email address.
- Seek Medical Attention. Go to the doctor or emergency room as soon as possible following your work injury. Make sure that you give the nurses and doctors a complete description of the work accident and your symptoms. Give a complete medical history of any prior injuries. If the doctor tells you to stay out of work due to your injury, get a disability note. Make a copy of the note to give to your work. Keep the original disability note with your records. Make sure that you seek appropriate follow-up medical treatment if your medical condition does not improve. For example, if the doctor kept you out of work for a week and you don’t feel any better after that, you must see a doctor or medical professional to be re-evaluated and obtain an additional disability note to give to your employer. Again, make a copy and keep the original disability note.
- Find Out Name Of Workers Compensation Insurer. If you are out of work for five days due to a work injury, your employer is supposed to file a First Report of Injury with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Ask your employer for the name of its workers comp insurer. By law all Massachusetts employers are supposed to post the name and contact information for their workers comp insurers in an area at the employer’s place of business that is visible to their employees.
- Contact An Experienced Workers Comp Lawyer. If you have suffered a serious work injury that will disable you from work for an extended period of time, you should contact a lawyer experienced in Massachusetts workers compensation claims. Workers comp is a niche practice within personal injury law. You want to consult a lawyer who is familiar with current practices at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents who can do what is necessary to ensure that you receive workers comp benefits and payment for medical treatment with appropriate medical experts. You should not assume that your employer or their workers comp insurer is providing you with accurate or complete information concerning your legal rights.
If you have any questions about Massachusetts workers compensation benefits, contact Attorney John Sheehan for a free, no obligation consultation. Attorney Sheehan will travel to you if you can’t visit him in his Boston office.