Minnesota Victims Are Not Reporting Their Work Accidents
If you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your work injury should be paid, together with costs incurred for prescriptions and mileage reimbursement for trips to your doctor, physical therapy, etc. Under most circumstances, you are entitled to choose your own doctor, to change doctors, or seek a second opinion with regard to the treatment of your injuries.
However, many work accidents go unreported, suppressing the real data of this issue and preventing many people from the financial compensation they deserve. At the Law Office of David M. Bialke in Coon Rapids, I fight for the people who are not getting the justice they need.
Why People Choose Not To Report Accidents And Illness
The auditing department of the United States Congress concludes that numerous employers do not report workplace accidents and sickness because they are afraid of increasing their worker’s compensation costs and are concerned about their ability to win contracts.
They also report that many workers do not report job-related injuries because they are concerned about being disciplined or that their coworkers will lose rewards for safety based incentive programs.
Why Reporting Accidents Is Important
The Government Accountability Office (G.A.O.) based this report after examining OSHA’s audits from 2005 to 2007. Workplace accidents in OSHA’s records documented four million work-related accidents in 2007, including 5600 deaths, a number that has steadily decreased since 1992.
OSHA attributes the decrease in accidents to improvements in safety standards in the workplace and the reduction of manufacturing jobs in the United States. However, the G.A.O. sites academic studies that OSHA underreports up to two-thirds of all workplace accidents. This discrepancy between the two figures in that OSHA relies entirely on employer reported injuries and illnesses for information.
In response to this report, OSHA stated that they would adopt the G.A.O.’s recommendation that an inspector should interview employees during the auditing procedures to reconcile the accuracy of employer-provided injury reports.
Using Medical Diagnosis To Avoid Reporting Work Injury
An additional part of the G.A.O. report focused on the information from medical professionals treating workers for injuries and illnesses. Many health practitioners reported that employees will seek an alternative diagnosis if the original diagnosis would result in a record of a work-related injury or illness.
The G.A.O. report also stated that 53 percent of the health practitioners who provided responses stated that they received pressure from company officials to deemphasize the extent of illness or injury. Furthermore, 47 percent of the medical practitioner’s survey stated that they received similar pressure from workers.
You Deserve Justice For Your Injury Or Sickness
If you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your work injury will be paid, together with costs incurred for prescriptions and mileage reimbursement for trips to your doctor, physical therapy, etc.
Under most circumstances, you are entitled to choose your own doctor, to change doctors, or seek a second opinion with regard to the treatment of your injuries. I encourage workers to report their accident and seek an attorney’s help to get the compensation they deserve.