Handling a Workers' Comp Claim for a Workplace Burn Injury
A burn injury at work is a situation that needs to be taken seriously, even if it appears to be mild at first. Mishandling the situation could worsen the injury and complicate the injured employee’s chances of getting fair workers’ compensation benefits as needed. Keeping a few things in mind when someone – or yourself – suffers a burn injury at work can make the consequent workers’ comp process simpler for everyone.
Seek Medical Attention
As mentioned, any burn injury should be seen and treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. The harm could be worse than first appears, especially if the burn has damaged nerves and pain receptors. You should be taken to an urgent care center immediately for medical evaluation. Depending on the state you work in, you may be able to choose which medical professional sees you, or you might have to go to a predesignated center in your employer’s insurance network.
What Caused the Burn Injury?
Burn injuries can be caused by several sources other than open flames. Harsh chemicals, electrical sources, and heated surfaces can also cause severe burns. Knowing what caused your burn and why can help determine if there was a serious safety oversight involved with your accident that needs to still be corrected.
Keep in mind that liability is often not a factor in workers’ compensation claims. For example, if you were burned because you mishandled a chemical substance, but you had been instructed to move or store that chemical, then you should still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
How Severe is the Burn?
Assuming that you saw a doctor after your workplace burn injury, they should have evaluated your burn and given it a burn rating. First-degree burns are mild and often heal quickly, but third-degree burns and higher are severe and life-threatening. The severity of your burn will factor into how long you will miss work and how much disability pay you may require to stay financially afloat.
Did Anyone Else See Your Accident?
As with any workers’ compensation claim, the statements from your coworkers and supervisors can be crucial for your burn injury case. If the responding insurance company tries to pushback and deny your workers’ compensation benefits, then the testimonies given by others could be your most useful tool for proving what happened.
Do not hesitate to ask around your workplace to see if anyone saw your accident and if they would like to give a written statement. If your employer tries to penalize you for asking others for voluntary testimonies, then it could constitute an employment law violation, which is another legal situation altogether.
Get Legal Guidance Right Away
You can minimize your chances of a misstep during your burn injury workers’ comp case by choosing to work with an attorney early on. Many workers who suffer a burn injury hire a workers’ compensation lawyer shortly after seeing a medical professional to ensure their case goes smoothly. Given that the necessary benefits could be significant due to a burn’s severity and lasting health impact, it is not a bad idea.
Do you need help with a workers’ comp burn injury claim of your own in Chicago? Leonard Law Group can help! Call (312) 487-2513, connect with our team, and discover how to use your rights today. Our team is well-versed in handling all facets of a claim, including countering insurance company denials.