Failing To Tell How an Injury Is Work Related at the First Doctor’s Visit Haunts Workers

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws


How should I report my injury?

This week we had to decline the case of a worker who injured his ankle getting out of a truck.  He was a new worker at the booming oil fields in Northern Colorado.  He twisted his ankle, but didn’t report it right away.  Co-workers told him not to report any injuries during his first three months at work – otherwise he would not only jeopardize his position, but also put the team “safety” bonus at risk.  So when his supervisor asked what happened, he told him it was just a sports injury from the weekend.

Later in the week the worker jumped out of his truck at the worksite and his ankle popped.  The pain got so bad he went to the Emergency Room.  While there he called the office and the Secretary advised him, “Don’t say it happened at work.  Just say it happened off-work and then bring us the bills.  We will pay the bills for you.”  He told the doctors he injured himself at home.

Now the employer will not return his phone calls.  He can’t stand on his foot and the doctors recommend surgery which he cannot afford.  This injured worker took a risk and made his job and the safety bonus more important than his body.

What’s the result?


He lost both the job and his body.

He lost not only this job, but any other possible job that requires standing.
His body needs medical attention that he cannot afford.
His co-workers get their safety bonus (but he doesn’t because he is no longer an employee.)
He is unlikely to obtain workers’ compensation – because the Judge will go with what was said at the first medical visit.

BOTTOM LINE:  Always report your work injuries as work-related.  Employer promises to pay the medical bills always disappear leaving you without a job, without health insurance, and without the means to pay for your medical care.  If you need Workers’ Compensation benefits – you need an experienced lawyer who knows the law and works hard to make sure you get the benefits you deserve.  Call us at 303-780-7329 or click HERE to arrange for your FREE CONSULTATION.  We help injured workers obtain the benefits they deserve.