All workers have the right to expect to go home safe and well at the end of the day. Unfortunately, workplace injuries happen, and we see firsthand the devastating physical and psychological impact these injuries can have on workers and their families.
If you are injured at work, there’s one simple yet important step you can take to make sure you get the best treatment and the best chance of claiming any compensation you are entitled to – see your own doctor.
Employers will often direct an injured employee to see a “company doctor”. However, you should always see your own doctor because:
“The first hours and days following an incident at work can be very stressful, and we often see employers direct injured employees to see a company doctor under the guise that it’s somehow easier or more convenient,” says James.
“This tends to be more common in regional areas, where employers take advantage of their remote locations and workers don’t have as many options for medical care.”
James highlights the need for workers to understand their rights so that if they are injured at work, they can get the best medical advice and treatment as soon as possible.
If you are injured at work, remember:
If you have seen a company doctor after an injury at work, it’s never too late to change to your own doctor.
You should also keep a written record of all injuries, dates and appointments. These records are important when seeking compensation for medical treatment costs and loss of income due to time off work.
In the end, says James, choosing a doctor comes down to what is in your best interests, not what suits your employer.
“You should choose to see a doctor you are comfortable with – you need to feel confident that you have a doctor who will support you and provide you with the best treatment to get you back on your feet faster,” says James.
If you have been injured at work and are unsure what to do next, speak to your union representative or seek legal advice as soon as possible, as strict time limits apply for workers’ compensation claims.
Related article: Five steps to take if you're injured in a work accident
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.