Steps to Take After a Work Injury

When you suffer an on-the-job accident, your first priority should be getting medical attention to treat your injuries. But after you’ve received treatment, you may not know what to do next—especially if your injury prevents you from returning to work.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys know how important the hours and days after your accident can be for building a strong workers’ compensation claim. By following a few important steps, you can help maximize your chances of receiving the money you deserve for your medical bills and lost wages. Let us help you make the right decisions—dial (800) 363-9113 or fill out a free initial consultation form.

Michael: I’m Michael Ponce. For years, we’ve helped injured workers protect their families and future by standing up for them and protecting their legal rights to compensation for injuries on the job.

If you’ve been injured on the job, the first thing you need to do is to provide written notice of your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer should fill out a first report of injury form also known as a C20, created by the Tennessee Department of Labor. If they don’t, you’ll need to write down the details, time, and date of the injury, sign it, and keep a copy for yourself.

If the employer did not fill out the first report of injury form, it will not be impossible to get workers’ compensation benefits, but it may make it more difficult, particularly if the employer later claims that they did not receive proper and timely notice.

Once the injury is reported to the employer, the employer or its workers’ compensation carrier is required to provide you with a panel of 3 or more physicians. When this panel is provided to you, you may select an approved treating physician from this panel. Your choice of physicians is important, and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may attempt to steer you to one of their doctors.

Additionally, once you make your selection of an approved treating physician, you will probably not be able to change your selection. It is therefore important to consult with someone with knowledge of the physicians prior to making this all-important decision.

Once you’ve selected a physician from the panel that is provided to you, the insurance company should promptly schedule an appointment with a physician whom you’ve selected. Additionally, if you are unable to work as a result of the job injuries, the employer should begin to make temporary total disability payments.

This process can be complex and riddled with pitfalls, and we therefore strongly encourage individuals who have sustained substantial injuries to promptly retain an experience workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your needs are promptly attended to for the sake of you and your family. We hope you never need our services, but if you do, no one will fight as hard for you and your family as we do, because at Ponce Law, it’s justice for all.

Reporting Your Injury

After your workplace injury, there are a few steps you must complete in order to file a claim for benefits:

  • Report your injuries to your supervisor.
    Tell your supervisor, manager, or foreman about the injuries you suffered.
  • Verify your employer reports your injury.
    Your employer has 30 days after the date of your injury or accident to report the incident to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Workers’ Compensation Division. Follow up with your employer to make sure this written report is submitted.
  • See a doctor.
    After your employer completes an accident report, you must see a doctor at your employer’s expense. It is important to inform your employer of your injury and obtain authorized medical treatment through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, rather than trying to seek medical treatment on your own. The doctor will examine your injuries and complete Form C42—“Agreement Between Employer/Employee Choice of Physician” —which your employer should send to the Workers’ Compensation Division.

Once these steps are complete, you may have to wait for a workers’ compensation claim adjuster with your employer’s insurance company to review your medical examination and determine if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys at Ponce Law know initial reviews aren’t always accurate, and we can fight to make sure you get the money you’re owed.