How Long Do I Have to See a Doctor After a Work Injury?

How Long Do I Have to See a Doctor After a Work Injury?

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How Long Do I Have to See a Doctor After a Work Injury?

Although there is no specific deadline for seeing a doctor after a work injury, the sooner you do it, the better. This is because of two main reasons, as discussed below.

When you get injured at work, seeking immediate medical attention could be the difference between recovering and suffering long-term injuries or even death. This, of course, will also depend on the nature of your injuries.

When you take too long to see a doctor, you will likely develop additional complications from the injury. For instance, say you suffered deep cuts while operating a power tool at work but failed to seek medical attention immediately. Then, several days or weeks later, the wound becomes infected. As a result, you finally decide to see a doctor for treatment.

In the above scenario, depending on the severity of your injuries, your health will be at risk. You will likely need more time to recover from the injuries than if you had sought immediate medical attention. In addition, when you file a workers' compensation claim, your employer's insurer will likely dispute part of the medical expenses because they could have been avoided had you sought medical attention right after the accident.

In other words, they will argue that although you may be entitled to compensation for the deep cut you sustained while operating the power tool at work, you made the situation worse by failing to seek immediate medical attention. As a result, the medical bills were higher than they should have been.

Depending on the nature of your claim, injuries, or even both, the insurer could also argue that you were not injured while at work. This is because you took unreasonably long to seek medical attention, prompting the defense to doubt your claim. When that happens, you will bear the burden of proof, meaning you will be responsible for proving that you indeed got injured in the workplace. Alternatively, you may need to settle for less than what you deserve as compensation for your injuries or nothing at all.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • How Long Do I Have to Notify My Employer About a Work Injury?

    Most states require employees to notify their employers within 14 to 30 days of the injury. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you suffer a work-related illness that develops gradually, the deadline for notifying your employer will be much longer.

  • What Should I Do After Getting Injured at Work?

    The steps you need to take after a workplace injury will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Generally, here are some critical steps to follow:

    Seek Immediate Medical Attention

    Seeking medical attention is even more important than notifying your employer the first thing you get injured. This is because the earlier you get treated, the better it is for your overall well-being.

    Notify Your Employer About the Injury

    Inform your employer that you have been injured in the workplace. The employer should provide you with the required paperwork to begin the workers' compensation claims process.

    Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim

    Just because you got injured in the workplace and are eligible for workers' compensation does not mean your employer or insurer will believe your claim without asking any questions. For this reason, gathering crucial evidence and information relevant to your case is vital. Examples of evidence you could use to support your claim include the following:

    • Photos and videos of your injuries
    • Copies of your medical records
    • Witness statements
    • Security footage

    Contact a Workers' Compensation Attorney

    If you suffered serious injuries that prevented you from returning to work for a while, contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney. The attorney will discuss the specifics of your case and advise you on how to proceed.

  • Do I Still Need to See a Doctor if My Injuries Are Not Serious?

    Yes, it is important that you get checked by a doctor, even if you feel that your injuries are not that severe. Remember, your health comes first. Also, keep in mind that some injuries take time to show, and by the time they begin to show their symptoms, it may be too late to seek treatment.

    For example, let's say you slipped and fell down a flight of stairs but did not suffer any cuts or bruises. In that case, while you may not have suffered any visible injuries, internal injuries are always a possibility. The last thing you want is to discover that you suffered internal injuries when it is too late to get the treatment you need and deserve.

  • What Are Some Common Work-Related Injuries?

    Some common work-related injuries include but are not limited to:

    • Head injuries
    • Broken bones
    • Cuts and bruises
    • Concussions
    • Burns
    • Strains and sprains
    • Whiplash
  • Are All Injuries Eligible for Compensation?

    The truth is that not all injuries are covered by workers' compensation insurance, even if you are eligible for this coverage. The circumstances that led to the injuries will determine whether you deserve compensation. As a general rule, employees cannot be compensated for damages caused by negligence. However, this does not mean they cannot be compensated if they were at fault for the accident.

    Workers' compensation insurance is no-fault insurance, meaning you can still obtain compensation even if you are at fault. However, you may not be eligible for compensation if the injury occurred due to negligence.

    For example, say you got injured in the workplace because you were drunk. In that case, you will not be eligible for compensation if the employer prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the workplace. This is because alcohol consumption leads to impaired judgment. 

  • When Should I File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

    Again, the correct answer to this question will depend on the specifics of your case. At times, filing a workers' compensation claim right away is the right thing to do. Other times, it may be advisable to wait a little longer before filing a claim.

    For instance, if you suffered serious injuries and are undergoing treatment, it is advisable to wait a little longer before filing a claim. This is because if you file a claim prematurely, something the other party will hope you do, you might end up paying a portion of your medical expenses out of pocket. As a general rule, if you are receiving treatment, it is advisable to contact an attorney before filing a claim.

    The attorney will review the nature of your injuries and the circumstances of your case and establish when it is right to file a claim. This ensures that you are fully compensated for your past, current, and future medical expenses, including lost wages and other benefits you may be entitled to.

  • Can I Sue My Employer if I Get Injured at Work?

    Workers' compensation insurance mainly aims to ensure that employees get compensated for their workplace injuries and protect employers against lawsuits. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is entirely impossible to sue if you have been injured in the workplace.

    On the contrary, you may be able to file a lawsuit if:

    • your employer directly caused the injury;
    • a third party, such as a delivery driver, caused the injury; or
    • your employer did not have workers' compensation insurance even though you were eligible for coverage.
  • What Damages Can I Recover When I File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

    Typically, workers' compensation insurance covers your medical expenses and lost wages. However, suppose you lost a loved one due to an injury or illness in their workplace. In that case, you may recover death benefits.

  • My Employer Says I Am Not Eligible for Workers' Compensation Benefits – What Should I Do?

    Just because your employer claims you are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits does not necessarily mean you cannot file a claim. Sometimes, rogue employers mislead their employees to discourage them from filing workers' compensation claims.

    Keep in mind that workers' compensation insurance works just like your car insurance; the premiums increase when an insured files a claim. The same applies to workers' compensation insurance in most cases. Insurance companies will charge higher premiums if they believe their client's workplace is unsafe. And one of the major signs that a workplace is unsafe is when an employee files a claim.

    Secondly, most employers may want to protect their reputation, especially if the worker suffered serious injuries due to extreme negligence. As a result, rogue employers might discourage employees from filing claims when they get injured in the workplace.

    In other cases, employers willfully or unknowingly misclassify their employees as exempt, preventing them from filing workers' compensation claims. This is because when a worker is classified as an independent contractor, they are treated as such. As a result, they cannot file a worker's compensation claim because this insurance only covers company employees.

    The bottom line is that it is best to consult an attorney if you feel you deserve compensation for your injuries, but your employer would not let you file a claim.

  • When Should I Contact a Workers' Compensation Lawyer?

    The truth is that not every case requires an attorney. For instance, if you suffered minor bruises that did not prevent you from working, you may not necessarily need an attorney. On the other hand, suppose you suffered severe injuries requiring expensive treatment such as surgery and a significant amount of time away from work. In that case, an experienced attorney can help fight for your right to compensation for your medical expenses and other benefits you may be entitled to.

    The attorney can also explore other avenues to maximize your benefits, including but not limited to filing a lawsuit against your employer or a third party responsible for your injuries.

  • What Is the Difference Between a Workers' Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

    When you file a workers' compensation claim, you can only recover medical expenses, lost wages, and other employment benefits you may be entitled to. On the other hand, when you file a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover economic and non-economic damages.

    Economic damages include but are not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, cost of transportation to and from your medical appointments, etc. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and so on.

  • How Can a Workers' Compensation Lawyer Help?

    A workers' compensation lawyer can help in many different ways. Examples include:

    • Evaluating your case to determine whether it is valid
    • Gathering crucial evidence to prove your claim
    • Assessing your damages to determine the damages you may be entitled to
    • Identifying the parties at fault for your injuries
    • Creating a legal strategy to maximize your claim
    • Filing a claim on your behalf
    • Representing you throughout the negotiation process
  • Where Can I Find the Best Workers' Compensation Attorneys to Fight for Me?

    If you are looking for an attorney to fight for your right to workers' compensation, look no further than Morgan and Morgan, the largest personal injury firm in the country. At Morgan and Morgan, we understand how challenging it can be to deal with insurance companies and rogue employers. In fact, most employees are usually afraid of losing their jobs when they file a claim for compensation. Unfortunately, what most workers do not realize is that it is illegal for employers to retaliate against them for filing a workers' compensation claim.

    Our law firm files the most labor and employment claims in the United States. With such a solid history of fighting for the rights of the injured, you can count on us to defend your right to compensation. Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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