Immediately after experiencing an accident at work, you need to go to a doctor and have a comprehensive medical exam. It is important that you do this even if you think that your injuries were not that bad or if you believe that you just got a few bumps and bruises. When you go to see a doctor, you need to report every single symptom you are experiencing and make sure that your physician documents all of the potential damage to your body and health that the workplace accident may have caused.
The reason it is so important to keep careful medical records is because you need to ensure you can prove that you sustained work-related injuries in order to make a workers’ comp claim. Workers’ compensation provides very broad protection and you do not even need to show your employer did anything wrong to get benefits. However, you do need to make sure you can show that the injuries that you need treatment for (and that are causing you to miss work) can be directly tied to harm you experienced on-the-job. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to make a work injury claim and prove your physical damages are job-related.
Documenting Atlanta Work Injuries is Key to Workers’ Comp Claims
Recently, Safety News Alert reported on one situation in which a woman was denied workers’ compensation benefits. The dispute over whether this particular woman should receive workers’ comp coverage or not ended up making its way all the way to the state supreme court where the employee lived. It is a classic illustration of how much more complicated things can become when all injuries are not properly documented after an accident at work. Unfortunately, the woman ultimately ended up not being eligible for benefits even after fighting for them, so it is also a warning about the potential to lose out on coverage if injuries are not documented thoroughly.
In the unfortunate case, the woman suffered an injury when she fell down the stairs at work. She saw a doctor right away, complaining of pain in her hand. The doctor diagnosed her with bone fractures and she filed a report of her injury and detailed the damage to her hand.
Around a month later, in a follow-up visit, she complained of pain to her hip. An x-ray and an MRI subsequently revealed that she had avascular necrosis (AVN), which is the death of a bone resulting from lack of blood supply. The AVN was in the femoral head of her right hip. Her doctor indicated that this was likely related to her work injury.
Because she had not initially indicated that she had suffered a hip injury, her claim was denied. She went through multiple stages of appeal, including requesting a hearing. However, between the failure to report the hip injury and the testimony of another doctor challenging whether it was work related, she ultimately was not eligible for workers’ comp coverage for her necessary hip replacement or other losses. The lack of prompt and full documentation of her injuries may have cost her the right to coverage, which would have provided important financial benefits.
The Atlanta work injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. offer free consultations to injured employees. Call today or contact us online to learn more.