If a worker is injured on the job, the worker has three basic rights:
- The right to medical treatment;
- The right to receive payment (temporary disability) for lost time; and
- The right to receive payment for any after-effects of the injury if the after-effects are found to be permanent (partial permanent disability).
If you are injured, you should immediately report the accident. Make sure an accident report is filled out and write down the names of all witnesses.
When you meet with a workers compensation attorney, the following information will be requested from you:
- Name, address and telephone number.
- Name, address and telephone number of employer.
- Name, address and telephone number of any union the client is a member of , along with full details of any union benefits that may have been received or to which the client has a right. (There may be a union benefit plan which provides the employee with payments for drugs and medical bills in addition to workers compensation benefits.)
- The job title the client held when injured, along with the clients educational background and previous employment history.
- The nature of the employers business.
- Your Social Security number.
- Your sex, age, and marital status at the time of the accident.
- The name of the employers workers compensation insurance carrier or indication of whether the employer is self-insured.
- The exact details of how you gave notice of the accident to the employer or whether the facts and circumstances are such that the employer must have had knowledge.
- The exact place where the accident occurred and the date and time of the occurrence.
- A full description in your own handwriting of how the accident occurred or to the exposures if an occupational disease case.
- Your wages or earnings and whether on time or piece-work basis, the rate per hour, or the weekly wage.
- The date when you stopped work and the date of return to work.
- A statement of past and present complaints, as well as a description of all body parts affected by the accident. Explain any emotional complaints since the accident to investigate the question of neuro-psychiatric disability.
- The compensation paid for temporary or permanent disability must be ascertained.
- Full details as to medical aid required and whether it was requested from the employer. If the medical treatment was furnished by the employer, all dates of treatment should be inventoried. If the employer refused to furnish the treatment, indicate in detail all requests made to the employer for treatment, as well as obtaining the names and addresses of all doctors who furnished the treatment.
- Be certain you have the names and addresses of all physicians and hospitals who rendered medical treatment since the accident, including but not limited to the injuries arising from the accident. Attempt to obtain the amount of all physicians bills and prepare a file for paid and unpaid bills.
- Any Blue Cross, Blue Shield, or major medical plans which cover you, as well as identification numbers, since it may be possible to obtain payment for medical bills from these plans, if the employer/workers compensation refuses to make payment.
If you are injured while working, we recommend you immediately speak with an experienced attorney.