A: It is the claimant’s burden to prove every element of his or her workers’ compensation case. This includes such things as your wages before you were hurt, your wages after you were hurt, that you reported your injury timely, any witnesses to your injury, what medical treatment you have received, and what work restrictions you have, just to name a few. This is why it’s important that you do your part to gather as much evidence as you possibly can.
Immediately upon learning of a work related illness or sustaining a work related injury, you should begin collecting the evidence. One piece of evidence that will be helpful in proving your claim is an accident report. If your injury occurred while on the job, make sure an accurate, detailed report is completed.
Company policies, safety warnings, or any other documentation related to the accident should also be gathered. You may even wish to get a copy of your employee handbook which may provide helpful information.
You should also get copies of your medical records, including test results. Make sure you get a copy of any prescription medication you are put on. If you are scheduled for further treatment (surgery, physical therapy, etc.), it’s important to have documentation of this.
Evidence that may be helpful include:
- All medical records related to the injury;
- All out of work notes showing your work restrictions;
- Pay stubs from 1 year before the accident through the present;
- Photographs or video footage;
- Your job searches;
- Testimony from co-workers; and
- Anything else that pertains to your injuries or illness.
Your evidence (or the lack of) could make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. This is your one and only chance!
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.