Visitor Question

Can I file for workers comp if I didn’t seek medical help after the incident?

Submitted By: Dominique (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

I was in the break room with a few coworkers, waiting on the coffee to stop brewing. After I got my coffee I proceeded to exit the break room. When I was almost at the door my right leg slid toward my left leg and I ended up falling to the floor. I fell onto my back and also hit my head on the floor.

I didn’t feel any real pain at first, just a little soreness as the day went by, so I only filled out an incident report and did not seek medical help. I eventually went home early to get some rest, hoping the pain would go away, but now my back and neck is hurting more and more.

What should I do since I waived my right for medical help after my fall? Does that mean I can’t get workers’ compensation benefits? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Dominique,

Based on the facts you present, your presumption of a waiver of your rights is incorrect. In the State of Louisiana an injured worker cannot sign away his rights to workers compensation benefits, especially after being injured on the job.

Moreover, an injured worker cannot release his or her employer from their duty to provide workers comp benefits. If waiting in the break room for coffee was part of your normal work day, and you were (or will be) paid for that time in the break room, then your injury entitles you to workers compensation.

Symptoms of many slip and fall accidents are delayed. This means in many cases, symptoms of injuries don’t appear for 24-48 hours after a fall. Your symptoms fall into this category. Fortunately, you filled out an incident report immediately after your fall.

Contact your supervisor and explain you are suffering pain and discomfort due to your slip and fall accident. Ask your supervisor to send you to one of the company’s approved physicians for an evaluation. You are entitled to that medical care, compensation for medications, physical therapy, and a portion of your lost wages, if applicable. Workers comp does not cover pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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