Sustaining a work-related injury can be frustrating and painful, particularly if it affects your spinal cord or back. A spinal cord injury can leave you facing a tough fight for workers’ compensation with an insurance company. As you deal with a debilitating injury, you will never want to deal with the workers’ comp claim’s bureaucracy. However, you don’t need to work on your claim on your own. A Richmond workers’ compensation lawyer can assist and guide you at each step of the legal process. They understand your options and rights and can deal with your employer’s insurer on your behalf.
After suffering from an injury to the spinal cord at work, you should act quickly to protect your rights. Here are the steps you should take:
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
After a workplace accident that resulted in an injury, you must seek medical attention right away. When you speak with your doctor, tell them that the spinal cord injury occurred on the job and ensure they note this in your records. After you talk about your injury, your doctor can create your treatment and recovery plan.
By seeking medical attention, you create medical records that can be your claim’s lifeblood. Your records will include a written note that states whether you missed work or have any type of work restrictions due to your injury.
Report the Accident and Injury
In Richmond, Virginia, you should report a workplace accident or injury up to thirty days from the accident date. A spinal cord injury may not be obvious right after an accident; however, you only have this much time to report it. Check with the HR department to know if there are specific requirements for reporting workplace accidents. If your doctor gives you a work status, inform your employer about this.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In general, you have two years from the accident date to file a compensation claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. You can file this claim by mail, fax, or in person. Once you file a claim, you just wait to get a response from the insurance company.
If the insurance company denies your claim, don’t panic. It is common for insurers to initially deny claims. Such a denial means the company won’t voluntarily pay you benefits. in this case, you should speak with a workers’ comp attorney to help you file an appeal.
Your attorney will request in writing for an evidentiary hearing to the Commission. At this hearing, you need to show that your spinal cord injury is work-related. Your attorney can guide you through the preparation process, assemble medical evidence, speak with witnesses, and conduct discovery.