6 Mistakes to Avoid After a Work Injury in Wyoming
Sep 13, 2023
If you are the victim of a recent work injury, workers’ compensation coverage should pay for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages as you take time off to recover.
Wyoming employers are required to provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage, but unfortunately, you can put your eligibility at risk if you don’t follow the right steps after being injured on the job.
With that said, if you’ve been hurt at work in the state of Wyoming, knowing the six most common mistakes that injured workers make can help guide your responses and ensure your employer is held responsible.
1. Failing to Report the Work Injury in a Prompt Manner
A workplace injury should be reported immediately. As soon as you’re injured, stop whatever it is that you’re doing and report the injury to your supervisor. Most workplaces have processes in place for injury reports, and depending on how your workplace handles employee injuries, you may need to complete an incident report form or speak with a supervisor or HR employee.
Never ignore a workplace injury, and never finish what you were working on before stopping work. Stopping helps ensure that the injury is given the attention it needs and that the evidence of how it happened can be preserved.
2. Not Documenting the Incident and Surrounding Circumstances
Most workplace injuries are covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy, but it’s always a good idea to preserve evidence of the accident. That includes taking photos or videos of the scene, as well as of any safety hazards or broken equipment nearby.
You should also write down the names of anyone who was present and saw the accident take place. If your employer tries denying that your injury happened at work, documenting the incident and having eyewitnesses will help your case.
If you’re an independent contractor rather than an employee, receiving work injury compensation can quickly become complicated, which makes it particularly important to collect as much evidence about your accident as you can.
3. Failing to Get Medical Attention
When an employee is injured on the job, they should be directed by their supervisor to see a doctor, and they should follow such advice. Never refuse medical care for a workplace injury. If your supervisor doesn’t recommend you see a doctor, however, you should insist on leaving work to go do so. Your employer isn’t allowed to discourage you from receiving prompt medical care, and they aren’t also to retaliate or make threats.
Failing to see a doctor right away can hinder your chances of receiving the workers’ compensation coverage you need, as your company’s insurer can make the argument that your injuries weren’t that serious since you didn’t see a doctor.
4. Downplaying Your Injuries
Injured workers might downplay their workplace injuries for a variety of reasons. In particular, they may worry about losing their job or about what others think. However, it’s important that you be honest about the extent of your injuries.
Don’t push yourself to do things that cause pain or make your injuries worse, and always follow your doctor's discharge instructions closely by not returning to work until you’re medically cleared to do so.
Your workers’ comp provider will look at your actions in the aftermath of an injury, and downplaying your pain only hurts your chances of recovering the compensation you’re owed.
5. Failing to Follow Medical Advice
It’s very important to carefully follow medical advice after a workplace injury, as failing to do so can be used against you in a few different ways. For one, not following a doctor’s instructions or skipping follow-up appointments can be used as evidence that your injuries aren’t as bad as you’re claiming them to be.
On the other hand, an insurance company could also argue that you’re partially at fault for your injuries because you failed to follow medical advice, and they can claim that your injuries worsened because you didn’t do as you were told.
6. Not Consulting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Always take the time to learn about your rights after a workplace injury by attending a consultation with a workplace injury lawyer. A workers’ compensation lawyer can walk you through the claims process and identify how you might be eligible for a higher compensation value than you realized. A lawyer can also help complete the workers’ comp claims process for you. Workers’ compensation paperwork can be complicated, and one small error can result in your claim being denied.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation
How Much Workers’ Comp Do I Qualify For?
Your workers’ comp coverage is identified based on factors such as the extent of your medical bills and the amount of wages lost during your recovery. The best way to ensure you don’t walk away with less workers’ comp coverage than you deserve is to have a workers’ comp lawyer file your claim on your behalf.
Can My Employer Retaliate if I Report a Work-Related Injury?
Employers are legally required to offer workers’ compensation coverage, and it’s illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting a workplace injury. If your employer has threatened you, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you file your claim and take action against your employer for breaking labor laws.
Can a Lawyer Help If My Workers’ Comp Claim Was Denied?
If you filed a workers’ comp claim on your own and it was denied, you should contact a workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to help you file an appeal, and it is likely the last chance you’ll get to recover the workplace injury compensation you deserve.
How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Cost?
Workers’ comp lawyers usually collect their payment at the end of your case and only if they win. Their compensation usually comes directly out of the total value they recover for you.
Protect Yourself by Consulting a Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The only way to know whether you’re getting the most out of your workers’ compensation coverage after a work injury is to take the time to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer before filing your claim. The Spence Law Firm is a personal injury firm serving injured clients across the state, so give us a call today to schedule a consultation with an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Wyoming.
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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.