Depending on the location of the company, the compensation laws for many employees require employers to take specific steps in the event of employee injury. Depending on your status, there are specific deadlines and forms to fill out. But what happens if the injured employee refuses treatment or refuses to make a claim? Can I refuse workers comp?
When you notice an injury
If you notice an employee injured, gently pick him up and discuss the injuries with him to determine if it was work related. Many state employee compensation laws require employers to report injuries as soon as they become aware of them. Delay in reporting damage can result in much more costly claims. Supplementing documentation to report injury does not constitute an admission of liability – on the contrary, it can protect you.
In case of refusal
When discussing employee injuries, explain that reporting work-related injuries entitles injured employees to certain benefits when recovering from an injury. If the employee does not want to make a claim, the employer must file a part of the report with a statement of refusal to pursue the claim signed by the employee. It is important to document this conversation to protect your organization from future sanctions. Employees who initially report injuries and then refuse treatment should sign a similar form confirming this refusal.
When is the refusal of treatment justified in employees’ compensation claims?
Compensation laws for employees in Virginia require the injured employee to take reasonable and necessary treatment related to personal injury. The purpose of the code section discussed above is to punish employees who unjustifiably refuse reasonable and necessary medical care.
However, if the injured employee can show that the refusal of treatment is justified, the Commission will not punish him. Whether the employee’s refusal to accept the recommended treatment is justified must be considered from the employee’s point of view and in the light of the information available to the employee. This does not mean that the employee’s refusal is always justified. The reason given must be objectively justified and not because of individual quirky or paranoid regarding medical care.
Can an employer force an employee to apply for medical assistance?
The employer may apply for payment of employee benefits if you refuse the doctor a treatment plan. That is why we recommend saying that you will consider treatment.
If you reject the treatment immediately, your employer and his insurance company can take advantage of this refusal to claim that you are not trying to improve and to end your benefits. If you accept the recommendation but do not take immediate action, the employer has a more difficult case to prove.