What Should I Do If I Was Hurt While Working? Is There Insurance for Medical Expenses? How To File a Claim for an Injury at Work
If you don’t understand your rights or what to do, that’s ok. It can be complicated. That’s why it can help to have an attorney. If you were injured on the job, we recommend you worry first about getting healthy.
If an injury takes place at work, it is important to let your boss know as soon as is reasonably possible – Kevin Jones
Despite the best efforts to work safely or take precautions, accidents can and do happen at work. It’s a fact of life.
While eventually it makes sense to figure out what caused the injury to avoid problems in the future, the most important thing is to take the steps necessary to get healthy and get back to work.
Obviously a lot depends on the type of injury. More minor accidents may allow for a more progressive transition from the job site to medical provider, where the Employee has the opportunity to drive him or herself for care.
Other instances may necessitate life saving techniques, where the passage of time can make the difference between life and death.
We encourage people to seek treatment immediately, whatever the cause or severity.
If you are injured and cannot work, waiting until things get worse does not help either the Employee or Employer.
No one wants to be laid up for work, even for a short period of time. The ultimate goal is to eventually get back to work, earning an income, and providing for your family.
What To Do:
- Seek Medical Treatment in a Timely Manner
- Do NOT Wait Until an Injury Worsens
- Call 911 if it is an Emergency
- If You Don’t Think You Can Move, Don’t Try
- Ask Someone to Take Pictures, if it can be done so safely
- Advise Your Employer When Able of Your Injury
- Follow Doctor’s Orders
- Complete Recommended Treatment and Physical Therapy
- Take Prescribed Medications as Instructed
How Do Lawyers Get Paid on Workplace Injury Cases?
You may have heard the term Contingency Fee when it comes to how lawyers charge fees. You may not understand what that actually means.
At the Dodge Jones Law Firm, the only way we make a Legal Fee is if you recover from your injuries. Our fees are “contingent” upon achieving a settlement or damages award.
If you do not recover damages, we do not get paid.
Now it’s important to understand some costs must ultimately be borne by the client; but, we’re more than willing to explain how that all works.
Things like deposition costs, fiing fees, and medical record copy charges may, when appropriate, be advanced by your attorney.
If you have questions, give us a ring.
We will put everything down in writing for you, just to make sure you understand how legal representation works and what it will cost you.
We are here to help!
Modified Transcript of “How Do I File a Claim for an Injury at Work?” for the Hearing Impaired
Hi, I’m Kevin Jones with the Dodge Jones Injury Law Firm.
I’m a Workers’ Compensation specialist in Eastern North Carolina.
I’m going to talk to you about some frequently asked questions in workers’ comp claims, questions I get asked a lot.
One of those is: “If workers’ comp won’t pay for whatever medical treatment I need, can I file it on my health insurance?” and the answer is yes.
You absolutely can and you should if it’s something that the doctor says you need and it’s something that you want to get done so that you can get back to work.
Most people if they’ve never had a workers’ comp claim before will assume that workers’ comp works sort of like their health insurance always has. It gets filed; it get processed; and it basically gets paid, but workers’ comp often does not. What happens, however, is that oftentimes when it’s the employer’s health insurance, especially a larger employer, they will have control over that health insurance because sometimes it’s not really insurance.
It’s a health plan.
It’s really the employer’s own money, and that employer has the final say over whether they’re going to pay for that treatment.
The law in North Carolina states that if the injury, the entire claim, or the treatment that’s being recommended has been denied in writing by worker’s comp, then the health insurance provider must pay.
Let’s say the person comes in to see me and they’ve got a surgery that’s being recommended by the doctor, and it may be the doctor that workers’ comp sent that person to in the first place, but then they decide they’re going to deny that surgery.
If you have health insurance and workers’ comp has formally denied it in writing, yes, you can file it and proceed and get the treatment that you need. Next step, they’ve paid. You had your surgery.
The case is winding its way to the courtroom.
What happens if you’re working on trying to resolve the case and you’ve got health insurance out there and they’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars for a surgery, for example.
Do they have the right to be paid back? In many instances, they do, and some they don’t.
This is where it can get very confusing.
You don’t want to get in a situation where you have resolved your case and then come to find out that you owe a bunch of money back to that health plan that you didn’t know was owed at the time that you decided to settle the case.
Other times, you will actually have health plan or health insurance that will claim a right to recover money out of your settlement and they don’t have that right.
If you have any more questions, please give us a call. I’m happy to sit down and talk with you about your rights and what needs to be done in your case when you have denied treatment in your workers’ comp claim.
Kevin Jones, Attorney at Law
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