If you are injured in a workplace accident, in most jobs you will be covered by workers’ compensation. You’ll need to keep a lot of documentation after any workplace accident; make and keep copies of any forms, paperwork, or communications generated by your accident or even indirectly related to it. One reason to keep complete documentation is that, believe it or not, there are still employers who will try to retaliate against anyone filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Retaliation firings are completely illegal yet far too common and effective. In many workplaces still, employees sometimes hesitate to report injuries for fear of being fired. Most employers who practice retaliation firings may not understand that they can face a retaliation claim lawsuit, and many are not even completely clear that the practice is completely illegal.
As you work to maintain full documentation of your workplace injury, especially note the documents that answer these questions: Where, when, and how did the injury take place? Who else was present? How and when was management informed? Did your manager or supervisor say anything? Were you sent to a hospital, doctor’s office, or other healthcare facility? What did the doctor tell you? Did the doctor write a letter excusing you from work for a specific period of time, or did the doctor give you, in writing, a specific date for returning to your job?
If you’ve been injured at work, distribute copies of the physician’s written orders to your manager, supervisor, foreman, and personnel or HR officer. Make a record of any responses. Keep copies of every communication you receive regarding your injury. Are there any hints of retaliation, even subtle hints?
Don’t wait until the last minute to seek legal help. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will defend your rights and fight for you receive the compensation you deserve. As early as possible, ask a good workers’ compensation lawyer to evaluate your case. If, because of applying for workers’ comp, you’ve been threatened with any kind of retaliation, you may be able to file a retaliation claim lawsuit. You have an absolute right to be free of threats and intimidation as you exercise your legal rights. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, learn your options and rights by speaking right away with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.