What to Do and What NOT to Do After a Work Injury

What to Do and What NOT to Do After a Work InjuryWorkers in Delaware may be injured for many different reasons, including falls on level ground, falls from heights, machinery and equipment accidents, exposures to dangerous chemicals, truck accidents, overexertion, and electric shock. Silverman, McDonald & Friedman represents injured workers no matter what type of work they do and no matter how their injuries happen. You can discuss your rights with us at our offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.

A few of the key do’s and don’ts if you have a workplace injury include the following:

DO seek medical attention

In all cases, if you’re hurt you should seek immediate medical help. If your employer has a physician on staff, then that physician can examine you (though we recommend seeing your regular doctor, too).

There are several reasons why you should always seek immediate medical help:

  • First, the sooner you are examined by a doctor, the sooner that doctor can work to stabilize your condition and decide what treatments can best help you recover.
  • Second, many insurance companies will argue that if you delay medical care, then you must not have been seriously injured.

DO give notice to your employer

Employees are required to give prompt notice to their employer that they’ve been injured at work. The employer has a right to know to ensure that other workers aren’t injured. The employer also has a right to know so that he or she can determine what happened to you.

Generally, Delaware requires that injured employees notify their employer or a supervisor (not a co-worker) promptly after an accident or the onset of any injury.

DON’T assume your employer is working for your best interests

Even if your employer agrees to pay your temporary benefits and medical expenses, your employer can terminate those benefits at any time – unless you file a formal claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Even with workers’ compensation benefits, your boss (or your company’s insurer) may still want you to return to work before you’re ready.

To ensure that your claim is properly filed, ensure your employer doesn’t try to terminate your benefits too early, and ensure all your rights are fully protected, you need to speak with an experienced Delaware workers’ compensation lawyer.

DO call our Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers

At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers will review whether you are eligible for benefits. We’ll review whether you gave proper notice of the accident or your injuries to your employer. If you didn’t, we’ll address that issue.

Our team will explain what benefits you should be entitled to, what happens if you are asked to return to work before you’re fully healthy, how a determination is made about whether you have a permanent impairment or disfigurement, and other benefit issues. We will also:

  • File your claim in the correct place.
  • Review your medical condition with your doctors. In some cases, we may recommend that you see other doctors who might be able to provide better health care.
  • Explain what benefits you’re entitled to receive. This includes making sure that your average weekly wage amount is properly determined.
  • Explain what efforts your employer’s insurance company may try to use to deny your claim or reduce your benefits. These efforts may include:
    • Denying that your accident happened during the scope of your employment
    • Arguing that your injuries are due to a pre-existing condition.
    • Asserting that you can return to work fully or that you can do light-duty work with some work restrictions.
    • Assigning a nurse case manager to try to show you’re not keeping up with your medical appointments.
    • Contesting whether you have a permanent impairment and/or contesting the severity of your impairment.
  • Prepare you for any official hearings so you know what to expect.
  • Explain what happens at an independent medical examination and ensure that you can seek a second opinion with your own treating doctor if applicable.

If you have reached the point where additional medical care will not improve your health, we’ll review whether you are eligible for permanent disability benefits. If you are, we’ll review whether you should seek a lump sum settlement so you control the funds instead of your employer.

DON’T miss any doctor appointments

As part of your workers’ compensation claim, you do have a duty to maximize your health. This means you do need to keep a record of the doctors and therapists who are treating you and you do need to keep your appointments unless there’s a good reason why you need to reschedule them.

A failure to keep your appointments and follow through with the recommendations of your healthcare providers could result in your employer trying to terminate your workers’ compensation claim.

DON’T assume you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation

The key eligibility requirements for workers who have a workplace injury to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits are that the worker must be an employee and the accident must happened during the scope of your employment.

Don’t assume that because an employer says you are an independent contractor that you’re not an employee. Many employers misclassify employees as contractors. Let us review your employment status. You may be an employee even though your employer says otherwise.

Also, don’t assume that because your accident happened away from the main worksite that you don’t qualify. Many employees do qualify for workers’ compensation even though they work from home, visit clients away from the office, or do work away from the office. We can determine if you qualify for workers’ compensation, and create options for you even if you don’t.

If you were injured in the course of your job duties, our Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers want to help. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we’re ready to explain and assert your rights. Call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Wilmington, Newark, or Seaford, Delaware today.