There is more to work injury claims than visiting a medico legal expert. Work injury claims can be a long, tedious process that can be very expensive and stressful for your and your family. It sometimes involves lawyers, courts, medical examinations and uncomfortable moments with your employer. However, there are a few things you can do to improve the chance of success for your work injury claim.
1. Report the accident or injury
You will have little chance of recovery if you don’t report the accident or injury to your employer right away, and ideally by writing. Send an email with a receipt confirmation or make sure your supervisor signs a document saying that the accident has been reported. If your employer has formal reporting guidelines, follow them to the letter. An unreported accident can easily be dismissed, as well as any report with inconsistencies. In cases like this, following protocol is essential.
2. Visit your doctor right away
Try to visit your doctor within 24 hours of the incident. Your doctor needs to establish a direct link between the accident and your injury and waiting too long can make the diagnosis more difficult. Of course, there will be a doctor’s report if you had to visit the emergency room. Ask for a copy of the files related to your injury claim as well, for safekeeping.
3. Get a lawyer
If you have reported your injury and your doctor makes a direct link between the incident and your injury, make sure you get a lawyer who’s specialized in injury claims. Avoid so called “ambulance chasers” (they’re often hack or bad lawyers just trying to make a quick profit off of unknowing victims). Choosing a lawyer is a delicate process but it’s best to take the time necessary to get one who will work in your interest.
4. Weigh the consequences of an out-of-court settlement
Some employers might try to convince you to agree to a settlement outside of court. It might seem easier this way, but sometimes this goes along with a non-disclosure agreement that might put other employees in danger. Always discuss such offers thoroughly with your lawyer, as they are sometimes meant to intimidate or bribe victims into silence. However, such offers can sometime be a better deal than spending months in a courtroom. Your specific situation and context will determine the right course of action.
5. Make sure the workplace problem is solved
If the accident happened through your employer’s negligence, don’t agree to a return to work unless your employer has addressed the problem. This is not only a must for you, but also for your colleagues who might be put at risk.
Compensation lawyers in Sydney are available to help you make the right decision about suing your employer or reaching a settlement. Most of them have a “no win, no fee” policy, which can be useful in the case of a loss. But if you follow these tips, you will have a better chance of getting the compensation you deserve.