Recently a Walmart employee’s workers’ compensation appeal was denied because she could not prove that the injury was work-related. “In order to recover in a workers’ compensation action, a claimant must establish personal injury by accident rising out of and in the course and scope of his or her employment” or risk being denied workers’ compensation benefits. Looking at what went wrong in the claimant’s appeal underscores the old adage: document, document, document.
Details Become Fuzzier With Time
There were several problems the claimant faced when trying to win her appeal, first and foremost was her inability to provide the date the accident occurred. Months after the fact, she not only provided conflicting accounts of the date the incident happened, she also did not possess any evidence that she worked on the dates she provided. Lack of clarity on the details certainly undermines a case and underscores how important it is to document key information if you are hurt at work. Jotting down all that you can remember right away and retaining any proof to substantiate your claims may prove that an injury by accident did indeed rise out of and in the course and scope of employment.
Updating Medical Records
Although the claimant went to the doctor for the treatment of a previous injury on the very day she alleges the work accident occurred, she did not mention the fact she had been hurt at work to her doctor, missing a vital opportunity to document what occurred in her medical records. Following an accident at work, it is important to seek medical attention, ensuring that your provider updates your medical records with pertinent information which may make or break your workers’ compensation or personal injury case. Sometimes injured parties are not aware of the extent of their injuries or the time it will take to recover until well after an accident occurs. It is better to have all the medical details documented by your doctor to support your claim of when, where and how an accident occurred and its impact on your health both short and long term – a medical professional’s input speaks volumes in court.
Documenting Witness Accounts
The claimant alleges that when she was injured, two employees witnessed the accident and had knowledge of the pain she experienced and offered assistance. She also testified that she reported the incident within two days to a department manager. However, months later, none of the employees had any recollection of the incident and the office claimed that no report was made. To prove witness corroboration of a workplace accident, it is important to have witnesses promptly provide a written or electronic statement providing witness testimony of the workplace accident. Furthermore, when making a report to a department manager responsible for workplace injury claims, it should be well documented in writing – not a verbal exchange.
Denied Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Unfortunately, because the claimant could not produce coworker testimony, medical records or pinpoint the correct date and time when the injury occurred, she was not able to prove the essential element of her claim – that she sustained a work related injury. To recover in a workers’ compensation action, a claimant must establish personal injury by accident rising out of and in the course and scope of his or her employment or the claim may be denied. If you have been injured at work and have questions regarding workers’ compensation or have been denied workers’ compensation, contact the Law Offices of McDonald Woodward & Carlson PC for help today at 563-355-6478.