If you've been injured at work, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries through workers' compensation. However, because paying for your injuries means your employer's insurance rates go up, your employer may not want to help you prove your claim. Here's how you can get the evidence you need.
Report the Accident Immediately
Any time you have an accident at work, report it immediately. Your company will probably have a procedure for reporting accidents, and you should follow it. It's also important to make sure that there's a written record of your report.
If you don't report an accident in a timely manner, you may lose the right to file for workers' compensation, or you may make it easier for your employer to argue that you really got injured somewhere else. Further, if there's no written record that you reported your injury, it's easy for a dishonest employer to say that you never made a report.
Make Sure Your Coworkers Know About the Accident
You should try to make sure that your coworkers know about any accidents. If your employer tries to cover up an accident, your peers are likely to make better witnesses than the company's owners or managers.
This can be as simple as calling someone over when you get hurt. If no one is around, tell a coworker about the accident as soon as you can. Even if they weren't a direct witness, they can be a witness to the fact of when you first claimed you were in an accident at work.
Subpoena Your Employer For Evidence
Once you start the legal process, you have the right to subpoena your employer for evidence. A subpoena is a legal process that requires your employer to give you relevant evidence. This includes things like accident reports, videos of the accident, and maintenance records that might show the cause of an accident.
A subpoena is a court order similar to a warrant in a criminal case. Your employer does not have the right to refuse a subpoena if what it is requesting is relevant to your case. If they try to refuse, your attorney can go back to the judge and have your employer held in contempt of court. The only option your employer has to legally avoid the subpoena is to give you the full settlement that you deserve.
Click here to learn more about how to prove your workers' compensation claim.