If you are injured at work, the best thing you can do is see a doctor right away. In Texas, worker’s compensation claims can be complicated since not all employers offer worker’s compensation insurance benefits. Learn more about how a work injury lawyer can help with your claim.
Ask a Work Injury Lawyer: Do I Need to See a Doctor?
It’s best to see a doctor as soon as you notice your injury. For example, if you sustain a sudden injury at work, you should seek medical attention right away. If you notice an injury a few days later, such as a muscle strain, you should visit an urgent care facility as soon as possible. Not only does seeing a physician quickly help you get back on your feet after medical treatment, but it can also work in your favor if you need to file a worker’s compensation claim.
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Manual labor injuries typically occur because of heavy lifting, pulling, or other physically straining motions. Muscle and bone injuries are common for employees who work in manual labor industries, including construction workers, oil rig workers, and agriculture workers.
Repetitive strain injuries are typically associated with office work. For example, people who work at the computer each day are at risk for repetitive strain injuries because of motions that create micro-tears in the muscles in the fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, and shoulders. Repetitive strain injuries can be debilitating and even disabling if not given adequate time to recover.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents at work are also common causes of injuries. Workers at factories and construction sites are at risk of slip and fall injuries. Concussions, broken bones, and slipped discs in the back are all injuries associated with slips and falls.
Should You Notify Your Employer?
After you notice you are injured, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. If you are injured while you’re at work, you will need to notify your direct supervisor or employer before you seek medical attention. If you notice your injury when you are off the clock, you will need to notify your employer before your next shift.
Notifying your employer immediately is essential when it’s time to file your worker’s compensation claim. This is because the sooner you notify your employer of your injury, the more difficult it will be for your employer to deny that you were injured on the job.
How Should You Notify your Employer?
When you notify your employer of your injury, it’s best to do so in writing, if possible. For example, you can notify your employer with a workplace injury report form, email, or text. If you notify your employer or supervisor verbally, recording the conversation may be helpful.
This is because sometimes employers may attempt to deny that they have been informed of an injury, so any evidence you have that proves you reported your injury to your employer will make it easier to claim worker’s compensation benefits.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Injury?
In Texas, you have 30 days to report a workplace injury to your employer. During these 30 days, you must file a worker’s compensation insurance claim. If you miss this time frame, your employer can deny worker’s compensation benefits, which can forfeit your right to compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
The 30-day time frame in which you can report an injury is especially important for injuries that show up for several days. For example, muscle strains and repetitive strain injuries may take some time to show up, so reporting your injury and filing a worker’s compensation claim as soon as possible will put you in a better position to receive compensation.
Can Your Employer Make You See an Appointed Doctor?
While you may have gone to an emergency room or urgent care facility for initial treatment of your injury, your employer may make you see an appointed doctor. Work injury lawyers in Houston will encourage you to comply with IME appointments from your employer.
For example, the worker’s compensation insurance used by your employer may mandate that injured employees have to visit a physician that is provided by the insurance company. If you do not go to an employer-appointed doctor to evaluate your injury, you may forfeit your worker’s compensation insurance benefits.
If you are unable to work because of your injury, then it’s essential to get worker’s compensation benefits so you can pay for your medical bills while you are recovering from your injury. You should see a doctor as soon as possible and notify your employer of your injury right away.