Once the injury occurs, the injured worker needs to report the injury to their employer, such as a supervisor, safety director, safety man, and possibly an owner or operator. When that notice is given, even though the law does not require written notice, written notice is the best kind of notice especially when it is hand delivered with a witness present. This is best so that if a safety manager, safety inspector, or supervisor does not recall that an incident happened and tries to deny that it happened, the person has a clear trail and documentation of the reporting of the injury.
This is as opposed to just a verbal confirmation in a room with just the supervisor who can deny that it ever occurred.
This is the first step an individual should take when filing a Charleston workers’ compensation claim. To determine the best legal process associated with your claim specifically, consult with a Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. En Español.
Scheduling a Hearing
Once that notice is given, the next step in filing a Charleston workers’ compensation claim is to request medical treatment in the event that medical treatment is not already being provided. An individual should then immediately move for a hearing to ask the workers’ compensation commissioner to approve the medical treatment.
The same is true if the injured worker is not able to return to work or is able to return to work but making less money. There needs to be in immediate demand for those compensation benefits. If there is any failure on the part of the insurance company to provide those benefits, then it is crucial to move immediately for a hearing to get those benefits established on behalf of the injured worker.
Seeking a Medical Expert
Instead of a general medical doctor examining the claimant, the individual should instead seek an expert related to the specific injury involved, such as a specialist, and receiving the appropriate imaging.
Instead of an x-ray, maybe an injured worker needs an MRI or CT scan. Instead of seeing a general doctor, perhaps the injured worker needs to see an orthopedic specialist, a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, or whatever specialized medical care is specific to their injury.
If the individual did not have a work-related injury or if they just got injured at home and they were going to their doctor with their private health insurance, they want to get the same standard of care or better than they would through a non-case medical situation.
Many times, the insurance company will try to slow down the process by keeping the injured worker with a general practitioner or a company doctor in what they call constructive medical treatment. However, this often results in inadequate care and not addressing the issues appropriately.
This can cause greater disability because the diagnosis, the treatment, and the recovery are delayed because the proper specialist is not evaluating the injured worker due to the insurance company’s efforts to minimize the claim.
Benefit of An Attorney
There are many other elements involved when filing a Charleston workers’ compensation case, but those are the steps typically taken at the beginning of the case. To further determine the steps you may need to take in your own case, consult with an experienced attorney immediately.