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Workplace Injuries and Doctors Notes

Injuries are often videotaped, especially if you work in retail capacity such as a convenience store, department store, supermarket or big box store such as Home Depot or Costco. If you do get injured on the job, request in writing, a copy of videotape from that day. Do so immediately as often the videotape is erased or recorded over. In an unwitnessed work injury, the videotape may be the difference between acceptance and denial of your claim.

If you get injured on the job report it to your employer immediately and in writing. Unless you work for a big corporation, they likely will not know what to do. Ask for a DWC-1 and the work comp insurance information. It is required to be posted in a conspicuous spot however. So if the employer doesn't want to give it to you, check your breakroom, a supply closet...anywhere things are likely to be posted. When it doubt, put it in writing and have the manager sign off. And whatever you do...get to a doctor immediately to document the injury. I can't tell you how many cases I have tried because the injured worker does not report the injury in writing and the employer disputes ever knowing about it. Or the employer claims it happened off the job. A doctor's note in an employment file virtually eradicates that defense. Just be sure the note says it happened at work.

There has been an increase in documented MRSA virus. However, many insurance companies are arguing that the injured worker did not obtain the virus on the job, rather that they picked it up in a non-industrial venue. Make sure you document all potential exposures if diagnosed with MRSA and pay attention to open sores, cracks in the hands and feet. Also, if the insurance company denies the claim as being non-industrial, make sure to request a panel of physicians in the expertise area of infectious disease. 

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