The Magic Words to Use When Reporting a Work Injury
Your words matter – especially when reporting a work injury.
We’ve all had an experience where our words were misinterpreted or even used against us.
When this happens, it is incredibly frustrating. We know what we meant, but the other person involved doesn’t get it – perhaps even intentionally.
In day-to-day interactions, this can lead to some bumps in the road in our relationships. The good news is that we can often sort these issues out by talking things through.
But there are times in life when the words we say (or don’t say) have devastating consequences.
One of those times is when reporting a work injury.
Unfortunately, if you say the wrong thing when reporting a work injury, you may not be treated fairly or receive the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured on the job, you need to know the magic words to say to ensure your workers’ compensation claim is approved.
What to Say When Reporting a Work Injury
So, what are the magic words?
When reporting a work injury, you must be clear and specific.
You can’t just tell your employer, “I need to go to the doctor.”
This is vague and can be misinterpreted.
Your employer may assume you are telling them that you are sick from something you ate and need to go to the doctor. They may not know it is something that should require an injury report and workers’ compensation.
When reporting a work injury, you do not want to leave anything open for misinterpretation.
Instead, the magic words are “I was just injured on the job (hurt at work, etc.), and I need to see a work comp doctor now.”
Be specific about where you were hurt and when.
For example, you may say, “I was hurt in a forklift accident in the warehouse today, and I need to see a work comp doctor.”
The rule of thumb is to not assume your employer will know you were injured on the job. Spell it out.
Take it a step further – put it in writing. Even a text message using these magic words will work in your favor.
What Not to Say When Reporting a Work Injury
While the magic words when reporting a work injury are “I was just injured on the job (hurt at work, etc.), and I need to see a work comp doctor now,” there are some words that ruin the magic.
Not using enough words (or being specific and detailed) is an issue.
However, using too many words is also a problem.
If you lie, you will likely be caught. If caught, your workers’ compensation claim will be denied.
Likewise, if you exaggerate your injury, you may also have your workers’ compensation claim denied because your employer will suggest you are falsifying what happened and how you feel physically.
Stick to the simple truth.
Lying and exaggerating is not worth it and will only hurt your chances in the long run.
You don’t have to embellish what happened or exaggerate your injuries to be taken seriously. Stick with the truth.
The Consequences of Not Saying These Magic Words
These magic words are powerful when reporting a work injury. If you fail to use the magic words, there are consequences.
Here are a few ways you may regret not using the magic words.
- Time Limit: You have a limited amount of time to report a work injury (30 days in the state of Georgia), or you risk not recovering Georgia workers’ comp benefits.
- Injury Worsens: Some people hesitate to report a work injury as soon as it happens. This is a common workers’ comp mistake. Let’s say you hurt your wrist lifting something in the warehouse. It seems minor, so you don’t report it. However, within a few days, it is obvious you have done some serious damage to your wrist. If you wait several days to report a work injury, you leave room for your employer to suggest the injury didn’t really happen at work. This is especially true if you get injured on a Friday and wait until Monday to report your injury. It looks suspicious, and your boss may assume you’re trying to pass off an injury you sustained over the weekend as a work injury.
- Misunderstood: If you do not use specifics and tell your employer it is a work injury, your employer may misunderstand. They may think the injury occurred outside of the office or outside of work hours.
- Your Words Used against You: One of the worst consequences of not saying the right thing when reporting a work injury is having your words used against you. For example, if you downplay your injury when reporting it to your employer, this may come back to haunt you. Don’t say, “I’m fine.” Your boss will believe you and think it’s not an issue that needs medical attention.
- Claim Denied: Ultimately, the main reason to use the magic words is to ensure your workers’ compensation claim is approved. Unfortunately, if you are vague and leave room for misinterpretation, there is a real possibility that your claim may be denied. This means you will miss out on the treatment, benefits, and settlement you truly deserve.
The Magic Words to Say to a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company
As much as we’d like to say once you report your work injury to your employer that everything is good and done, that simply isn’t true.
Unfortunately, this is only the first step in the complicated process of receiving the workers’ compensation you justly deserve.
The next thing that stands in the way is dealing with workers’ compensation insurance adjusters.
The sad truth is, insurance companies prioritize profits over people. They aren’t in it to help you out. They are in it to make money.
For workers’ compensation insurance companies, this means not giving you all you are entitled to when you are injured on the job, such as offering a settlement for much less than you deserve.
That’s why the magic words to say to workers’ compensation insurance companies are “You’re going to need to speak to my lawyer.”
When you suffer a work injury, you want someone in your corner when it comes time to fight the insurance company.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer knows how to deal with insurance companies.
Plus, it is a proven fact that injured workers represented by experienced workers’ compensation lawyers get significantly more benefits and significantly higher settlements than people who don’t have someone in their corner taking the fight to the insurance company.
If you’ve been injured on the job, contact us today for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.