While many workplaces have specific rules and programs designed to help prevent work related injuries, unfortunately many workplace accidents still happen around the country on a regular basis. An accident can be difficult for the injured party’s family, especially when the accident resulted in critical or life threatening injuries.
Advocate For Your Loved One’s Right to Care
If your family member has been hurt, you can play an important role by being an advocate for their right to quality medical care and assisting them throughout recovery. As a family member, you are likely experiencing much of the fallout from a critical work injury as well, and it’s often in the best interest of your loved one and your family to pursue legal action.
Your first step should be to ensure that your loved one receives good medical care. While an initial emergency treatment can be critical for identifying the main medical impacts of the injury, it’s essential that your loved one also follows up with their physician and any other specialized care providers.
Notify Your Loved One’s Employer
It’s also important that your loved one notifies his or her employer about the injury as soon as possible after the accident. Specific forms may need to be filled out and paperwork filed relatively quickly after the accident. In the case of a critical work injury where your loved one is incapacitated and unable to do so him or herself, this is a step that you must take in their stead.
There can be several negative consequences of failing to file a workplace accident form and workers’ compensation claim. If you don’t report the accident in a timely manner, your loved one’s employer may be eligible to deny coverage and a private health insurance carrier may decline to pay for treatment related to the workplace accident, as well.
Without an official file, your loved one’s employer can even deny that the accident ever happened or that it happened on site at the work location. In addition to strict statewide workers’ compensation filing guidelines, your loved one’s employer might also have internal rules about how soon a report must be filed.
Obtain Seasoned Legal Representation
Your next step should be to retain legal representation. Although many people assume that the employer is on your side, it’s in your best interest to obtain an attorney sooner rather than later. Consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible helps ensure that your loved one’s legal rights are being represented for the duration of a workers’ compensation case, especially when your loved one cannot do so for him or herself. Working with a California worker’s compensation attorney can help prepare you for what to expect and to provide you with the best chance of obtaining the compensation your loved one deserves.
At the Law Office of Michael J. Holmes, we have the experience and skills needed to advocate for your loved one’s rights after a work related accident. Contact us today at (714) 667-6844.