If you’ve been injured on the job, you’ll want to file a workers’ compensation claim to get the care and treatment you’re entitled to. However, insurance companies and employers don’t want to pay for claims they don’t have to, so the burden may fall on you to prove that you’ve suffered the severe injuries you’re claiming. That means you’ll need evidence, and there are certain types of evidence that are particularly effective when it comes to supporting your claim and getting you the result you’re looking for.
Here are four essential types of evidence to have when filing your workers’ compensation claim.
When you’ve been injured, you’ll want to make sure you see a medical professional and have your case documented as soon as possible. You’ll likely have to see a doctor multiple times for continued treatment, and each time your doctor will log your condition, how your recovery is progressing, and much more. This is critical because it not only documents how your recovery is proceeding but what treatments have been done, and what your doctor’s recommendations are.
In North Carolina, you’re not permitted to see your own doctor in a workers’ compensation case unless you receive permission from the North Carolina Industrial Commission. However, the NCIC will not always grant this permission unless you have a good reason for doing so. It’s generally a bright idea to get a second opinion from your own doctor if your Workers’ Compensation doctor advises you to undertake serious treatment, such as surgery.
Employer Accident Report
There’s a reason why employers, doctors, and attorneys all say you need to report an injury to your employer as soon as it happens: when you don’t, you could jeopardize your claim. This accident report should include a statement of what happened, where the injury occurred, what was injured, the date and time of the incident, who was there to witness the injury, and much more. Make sure to file this with your employer and keep a copy for yourself and your records. You’ll want this to not only make sure that you have proof you reported your injury to your employer as you were supposed to, but who else can corroborate what you say happened.
Any Supplementary Accident Reports
If you drive for a living and were injured due to an accident, there’s a good chance there’s also a police report regarding your incident. Since the police are usually one of the first responders on the scene of an accident, they usually set about taking a full report of the crash, which includes statements from all parties involved. It’s vital to get the incident report number from your officer and then request a copy or two for your records as soon as they become available (which may not be for several days or even a week or so).
If you were injured while visiting a vendor, supplier, or other location, there’s a chance they could have taken a report of the incident for their own purposes as well. Try and obtain copies as quickly as possible and include them with the remainder of your other supporting evidence.
Photographs or Videos of the Accident Scene
There’s an old saying that goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In that case, you could re-write the entire works of Shakespeare with a small device you most likely have in your pocket. Your camera-equipped cell phone can gather some of the most valuable and crucial supporting evidence for your case. Take pictures of anything that may have played a role in your injury, whether it’s a traffic sign, working conditions, or any other factor. Video of the scene can also capture details that could play a role in your case that would otherwise go unconsidered.
If you’ve been hurt on the job, our North & South Carolina worker’s compensation lawyers can help you get the treatment you deserve! Call The Law Office of Jason E. Taylor at (800) 351-3008 today for a case evaluation.