By having that initial medical visit, you could prevent the insurance company from dismissing the claim.
When it comes to injuries in the workplace, most people imagine slip and falls or sudden accidents that leave visible marks, such as fractures or other lesions.
But not all injuries are visible, and some can appear only after some time has passed since the accident. Certain conditions like whiplash may begin to show symptoms a few days or weeks after the incident. How do you proceed in these cases? Can you still get workers compensation benefits?
Medical Attention Is Critical
If you’ve got hurt on the job, then you should seek immediate medical care even if you think that you are fine. If you suffered blows to more sensitive areas of your body, such as the head or spine, it’s imperative that a doctor sees you right away.
A professional medical check-up right after the injury is your best bet to get the full aftermath of the accident. Even if your injuries are not visible and nothing hurts, doctors could identify the signs of trauma and recommended you to come in for follow-ups. Additionally, they could also prescribe treatment that could prevent any serious consequences.
From a Legal Standpoint
There is another great benefit of initial medical check-up from a legal point of view. When you apply for workers compensation, your employer and the insurance company will ask for proof that your condition is a direct result of your work activities.
Let’s say you hit your head at work, and at that moment you don’t think you got too hurt, so you go home. Two weeks after, you start feeling dizzy and have difficulty concentrating. When you go in for a medical appointment, the doctor says you have a concussion and you need to take time off from work. Because you know the blow to the head happened at work, you assume you can cover the costs with workers compensation claim.
However, because you have no proof of an official consultation after the accident, and you did not inform the employer of it, the insurance company could then claim you hurt yourself outside of work, so workers compensation does not apply. By having that initial medical visit, you could prevent the insurance company from dismissing the claim.
What Should You Do?
It is important to seek medical attention right after the accident, and then inform your employer that it took place. The doctor may recommend certain precautions you should follow to the letter. If not, it may prove difficult to get your workers compensation benefits later when other symptoms arise. However, not impossible.
In the event that your symptoms appeared later, discuss your case with a St. Louis workers comp attorney and inform them of your situation. By working with a lawyer, they could potentially help you link the injury to the work accident even if you did not follow the initial procedure.