Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Work Injury

Construction Accidents, Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation

Work injuries are overwhelming and emotional. People often wonder, “How will I pay my bills? When will I get back to work? Will my life change?” Remember, you are not alone, and you will get through this.

To help you reduce stress and get back to normal faster after a work injury, we’ve outlined five common mistakes you should avoid. 

What is a work injury?

A work injury is any injury that occurs while performing work or work-related duties. Work injuries can occur on or off the job site, ranging in severity and permanence. While work injuries are most common in hazardous conditions like construction accidents, they can happen at any job.

You may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you endure a work injury. Workers’ compensation is an insurance system that provides financial and medical benefits for workers unable to work after work-related injuries. Recovering benefits can help you pay medical expenses and maintain your financial responsibilities while you cannot work.

What shouldn’t I do after a work injury?

When identifying what not to do after a work injury, remember that ignoring symptoms or delaying medical attention is the biggest mistake you can make. Always prioritize your health and safety. Everything else comes second.

The top five most common mistakes after a work injury include: 

  1. Delaying or refusing medical attention.
  2. Failing to report the injury.
  3. Throwing away important documents.
  4. Not filing a workers’ compensation claim. 
  5. Not seeking legal help.

Don’t delay or refuse medical attention.

Often, people deny their injuries to avoid going to the doctor. Medical care is expensive and inconvenient. However, it is necessary. Delaying medical attention after an injury is dangerous and can limit your potential for workers’ compensation benefits.

What To Do Instead

Seek medical attention immediately. Take care of your health first, then focus on work and recovering workers’ compensation. You will not be penalized for seeking care before reporting your injury or filing a claim.

Don’t forget to report the injury to your employer.

There are many reasons people fail to report an injury to their employer, including: 

  • Fear of retaliation
  • Fear of negatively impacting co-workers or getting in trouble
  • Lack of knowledge about rights 
  • Informal work arrangements
  • Downplaying injury severity

Workplace injuries are emotional, and often, the injured employee bears most or all of the burden. However, failure to report an injury to your employer promptly harms your chances of recovering workers’ compensation benefits. 

What To Do Instead

Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. This is a critical step in your recovery after a workplace injury.

Don’t throw away important documents.

In the chaos of a medical emergency, it’s easy to overlook the importance of detailed records. Many people trust their doctors to track essential documents on their behalf. However, medical providers sometimes misplace or mix up medical records.

What To Do Instead

Keep all documents, records, and digital traces of your injury and treatment. Detailed medical records can help your lawyer build your claim or case.

Don’t forget to file a workers’ compensation claim. 

There are a few reasons an injured employee may not want to file a workers’ compensation claim:

  • They are afraid of being fired.
  • They don’t know that it’s available to them.
  • They think they missed the deadline.

What To Do Instead

Always file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible if you were injured at work. Workers’ compensation can speed up your recovery by covering medical expenses and lost wages. If you’re worried your employer will fire you, don’t be. Your employer legally cannot fire you in retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim. If your employer denied your claim or your injury occurred more than 30 days ago, consult your lawyer immediately.

Injured employees may avoid legal help because they think they can’t afford it. However, most lawyers (including Golitko & Daly’s lawyers) work on contingency fees, meaning you won’t pay until you get paid. Some people may avoid legal help because they don’t want to sue their employer. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not the same as suing your employer. In fact, it’s illegal to sue your employer in Indiana. 

What To Do Instead

Seek legal help for your workers’ compensation claim. While many workers’ compensation claims are straightforward and don’t require litigation, severe injuries like paralysis are much more complex. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate your claim and achieve the best possible outcome. 

How We Help

If you’ve been severely injured at work, Golitko & Daly’s experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you physically, financially, and emotionally rebuild your life. 

To schedule a free consultation, call us at 317-566-9600 (Indianapolis), 765-865-9300 (Bloomington), or 812-566-2600 (Kokomo), or complete our online inquiry form.