It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe workplace, but sometimes, injuries are just unavoidable. When an accident does happen, there is a good chance that you will be compensated through workers’ compensation insurance. This process requires you to obtain and submit medical records to prove you were injured and to show how it occurred. It’s important to know what to do to increase your chance of receiving the compensation you’re entitled to. If you need assistance, contact our Washington D.C. work injury lawyers to set up a free consultation.
Documents for a Workplace Injury Case
Medical Records. Typically, the most essential records when filing for workers’ compensation benefits are your medical records. Your medical records will show what your injuries are and prove that you were injured and when it occurred. They will also evidence the extent and severity of your injury. Medical records include doctors’ notes, diagnostic scans, such as, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other tests that are performed in the hospital, and more.
Photographs. Another important way to document your injuries includes taking photographs. If you can, take pictures of the scene that caused your accident so you can show what happened and why it occurred. Additionally, any visible injuries should be photographed and noted in writing.
Accident reports. If your injury occurred in a manner where an accident report would have been created, it’s crucial to get a copy of that. For example, if your job duties include driving or delivering something and you are involved in a car accident, law enforcement will arrive on the scene and create an accident report. You should request a copy as soon as possible.
Expert witnesses. An expert’s testimony can also be crucial to validate the information in your medical records. They will be able to review your records and summarize their findings, which should corroborate your account of what happened and the severity of your injuries. This is something that a lawyer will help you with. When you hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, they have medical experts they often work with in these types of cases, so they can have your documents reviewed.
Proper Documentation. Many victims of workplace hazards have lost opportunities to obtain their deserved compensation because they were unable to collect or maintain important documents. This is often because the process of getting medical records can be complicated, but sometimes it’s due to a person’s lack of understanding about what records need to be kept.
After you are injured, take the following steps:
Request Documents immediately
Don’t stall in asking for your medical records; you should ask immediately. The sooner you request them, the sooner you will get them. This will speed up the process and help you receive compensation as soon as possible.
If you receive your medical records as hard copies, you should scan everything you received by using a scanner or a smartphone app. In case you lose the hardcopies, you will still have all your necessary documents. Additionally, scanning them allows you to retain the document’s quality in case the original fades away. You can upload the documents into your cloud for proper storage or email them to yourself or someone else so you can always find them.
Keep the Hard Copies, Too
Don’t forget to keep the hard copies. Technology can fail, so having a scanned version and a hard copy is the best way to proceed.
If you were injured at work and need help obtaining records or documenting your injuries so you can collect compensation, contact us today to set up a free and confidential consultation.