When you suffer a small work injury, you might feel like it isn't necessary to document it. You may feel like you can simply walk the injury off or that it won't progress and become a more serious injury, but this can backfire.
Even if you suffer a significant injury, you may choose to only document the most important parts of that injury. For example, if you have a broken leg and also a cut from the injury, you may choose to only document the broken leg, but the cut should also be recorded. Survey your entire body for every injury that you have had.
Your Injuries May Get Worse
Injuries that might seem minor can cause greater amounts of pain later on. For example, you might experience some pain in your back, but the pain may later go away. But, you may later notice that you're experiencing other symptoms related to your back. But because you didn't record this injury, it may hurt your worker's compensation claim in the future. The supervisor is responsible for making sure that you receive medical attention and also correcting the problem to prevent additional injuries from occurring.
Notify Your Employer
When you are injured, the first thing you should do is notify your employer. The only time that you do not need to notify your employer is if your injuries prevent you from doing so, such as if you are incapacitated.
Verify That the Hospital Has Recorded All of Your Injuries
When you are in the hospital, make sure that every injury you experience is documented. When you do not document a particular injury, this is used to discredit you in the future. Also, make sure to tell a worker's compensation attorney about all of your injuries. The attorney will have the experience to know which injuries are the most important to pay attention to and that will be legally actionable in court.
Document Your Rehabilitation
You will want to continue to document everything that happens after you have been injured. Your medical treatments are not a one-time thing and you will need to receive further treatment as you are rehabilitated. Not only might you need to be rehabilitated physically, but you may also need vocational rehabilitation. This involves special job training and counseling to help the injured worker return to the workforce. The employer must make any reasonable accommodations.
For more information, contact a worker's compensation attorney.