When Does a Sprained Ankle Become a Work Injury?
When is a sprained ankle simply a sprained ankle – and when is it something more? That’s a question that you may be asking yourself, particularly if you believe your injury may be work-related and might qualify for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It’s an important question to ask. After all, if your injury is work-related, you may be able to seek compensation to cover necessary medical treatment and lost wages among other benefits, so understanding the distinction between when an injury is just an “injury” and when it is a “work injury” is essential.
The general rule of thumb is that if an injury is “work-related” – that is, if it occurred on the job, or because of the job (as in the case with an occupational illness), the injury will be covered by workers’ compensation. In a nutshell, if you are out for a walk at home and you step on an uneven piece of pavement and twist your ankle, you likely won’t be able to claim a workers’ compensation injury – but if you are walking across the factory floor at work and you step on an uneven area of the floor and sprain your ankle, you may be able to, as it would be a work-related event. Certainly, there are far more complex examples than this one, and each unique set of circumstances will require consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney – but work-relatedness is generally a threshold requirement for filing a claim.
If you feel that your injury – whether it’s a sprained ankle, or something else – may qualify as a work injury, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind:
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible: Seeking medical treatment is essential, not only for your own well-being and ensuring that your injury does not get worse, but also for purposes of documenting your injury and the important details surrounding it, like when it happened, where it happened, and how it happened, among other matters. Medical records can be vital evidence in a workers’ compensation claim, so it’s important not to overlook seeking the care you need from a well-qualified provider.
- Report your injury to your employer: If you believe that your sprained ankle (or another injury) may be work-related, it is always wise to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible after it occurs. Sometimes, if there is a delay in filing a claim or reporting an injury, an insurer might attempt to deny the claim, or argue that the claim isn’t legitimate. Reporting early helps to reduce the likelihood that this might happen.
- Don’t delay in filing your claim: After you’ve reported your injury to your employer, you’ll want to be sure to move on with the process of filing a claim and finding an attorney if you believe you may have a valid work-related injury to make a claim for. There are deadlines to file claims, and you don’t want to miss the chance to assert any rights you may have.
- Consult with a workers’ compensation attorney: The value of having an attorney on your side who knows and understands workers’ compensation law, and who can help you pursue the best strategies in your case can’t be overstated. It can make all the difference between a confusing and stressful experience and a successful one. An attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation law will be able to tell you whether or not your injury may qualify for benefits, and if so, what types of benefits may be available.
These are only a few helpful tips of many. Navigating a workers’ compensation claim can be complex – and it’s not a process you want to go through alone. That’s what, at Roden Law, we’re here to help.
CALL RODEN LAW TODAY
If you have been injured, and you believe your injury may be work-related, don’t delay in taking the steps you need to take to find out. If your injury does qualify for a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll want to begin taking the necessary steps to seek the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. At Roden Law, that’s where we come in. Our talented and experienced legal team understands workers’ compensation law, and we know the best legal strategies to pursue on your behalf. You deserve to focus on your recovery – while we focus on your claim. If you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help.Call us today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.