General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

What action do I take after falling at work?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11339points) April 26th, 2011

Last week I passed out at work and in the process of fainting, I fell and hit my lower back (spine) on a sharp counter ledge. I went to the hospital by ambulance and was treated and released the same day. They didn’t take x-rays due to my pregnancy. Now my job’s insurance company is trying to contact me. Do I simply tell them what happened and go about my business? If my injury continues to hurt, what happens in that case? Right now I’m hoping it’s just healing from a bruise. If it causes future problems, what do I do?

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49 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

Have you filled out an accident report at work for your supervisor’s records yet? That is the first thing you really have to do no matter how small you think the injury is. That important paperwork is what keeps you in the running if this gets big later.Of course be sure you keep your copy.

zenvelo's avatar

Don’t sign away anything, no matter how much the insurance company says. And you may be required to go to an insurance company doctor to get checked out, but make sure you go to your own doctors, both your OB/GYN and your regular physician. And if they refer you to someone, go to the referral doctor too.

And make sure you document everything, every doctor’s appointment.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@woodcutter No I haven’t personally filled out anything yet. I assume my human resource manager reported it to the insurance company since they’re contacting me.

JLeslie's avatar

Usually you fill a report, and that ensures you have the option of workers comp. Workers comp is usually very fair about paying for doctors appointments related to the injury. I would just tell them what happened, ask them if you need to fill out any paperwork regatding the injury, or ask HR; and if you need to go to the doctor related to the fall, for your back for instance, then call whoever you are supposed to call amd tell them you need to see a doctor. Even if you don’t xray it, if it begins to cause you a lot of pain they might pay for some physical therapy. Hopefullly it will just get better after a few days and you will be fine, but it is good to have the accident documented in writing.

WasCy's avatar

I wouldn’t even tell them – yet – what you’ve told us here about the cause of the fall.

The reason is that “fainting” is probably not work-related, but more due to your pregnancy. (At least, I would think so, unless you happen to work with volatile compounds that out-gas fumes that could have caused the fainting, which is a pretty unusual place for a pregnant woman to be working, especially without respiratory protection. Unless I’m assuming too much.)

So… if it wasn’t a work- or workplace-related cause of the fall (I’m not going to call it an “accident” yet), then the workmen’s comp claim may not even be approved.

This is why “slip and fall” accidents always result in insurance companies and liable entities settling claims as quickly as possible, since a “slippery” floor is certainly related to the place where the floor is (obviously). On the other hand, a “trip and fall” accident, if someone can get the victim to admit that it was his own clumsiness, poor posture, absent-mindedness or distraction, etc. that caused him to trip over his own feet… well, it’s not necessarily the fault of the employer or business owner then.

I would never suggest lying about the incident / accident. But there’s no reason for you to rush to assure others that they’re okay, either. You and your baby are the ones to be concerned about now. Get better soon. And maybe talk to your doctor and think about quitting work; fainting isn’t going to be a good thing for either you or the baby. I’m not antediluvian enough to believe that a woman should be ‘confined’ for the duration of her pregnancy, but what you’re doing now is far more important than mere ‘work’. First things first.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

WasCy is correct. Here is a quote from the New York Work Compensation site:

Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. Source

rooeytoo's avatar

If the fall was the result of fainting and the fainting was the result of pregnancy then why would the employer have liability? The employer is not allowed to terminate her because she is pregnant but he is liable if the pregnancy makes her unwell?? Neither is it a case where workman’s comp is involved, the faint and fall were not due to working conditions.

It sounds as if the advice given above is how to screw your employer and the workmans comp fund.

I am personally sorry you fainted and fell but according to your recounting of the accident, it is not the fault of your employer whether or not they approve of your pregnancy. This is why I rarely employed females of child bearing age.

Bellatrix's avatar

I seem to recall a question from a while ago where you were asking about different duties while you are pregnant? I could be wrong or remembering someone else. If it was you and you did request different duties, what was the outcome of that?

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I said nothing about lying or screwing anyone. If she doesn’t qualify for workmans comp then she doesn’t. If she does she does.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – I didn’t address you directly. The general tone of the responses seem to me to be trying to find a way to make someone liable. As I said, I am genuinely sorry @ItalianPrincess1217 is having a bad time but I have been following the questions she has been asking and the general tone has been anti-employer. I try to see the situation from both sides and in this case I also have sympathy for the employer. Employees don’t want to work for nothing and employers do not either so they try to manage their business in such a way that they can pay the employees and themselves. That is difficult if they have unreliable employees. It is also important that @ItalianPrincess1217 can quit anytime she desires, no reason or notice given and the employer is up the proverbial creek empty handed. No one thinks anything of it, seems as if an employer should have the same right, but they often do not.

JilltheTooth's avatar

You do realize that the Internet is public, don’t you?
Between this Q and some others you have asked (fainting while pregnant, how to get disability) this could be construed as trying to get information on how to defraud your employer. I’d be more careful about what you make public.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I felt as though you were generalizing about all responses thus far, but thank you for clarifying. Although I agree the answers ean towards making sure she protects herself so she can get workers comp, I think keep in mind they mostly probably want to make sure she does not give her rights away if she does qualify. Don’t sign any deals, means don’t sign something that looks attractive now, because it will mean no future possibility of coverage if you need it. It does not necessarily mean don’t sign anything now, because you won’t be able to sue for a bunch more dollars. People above said don’t lie also.

Workman’s comp is an insurance the employer pays for I think. It is not directly out of his bottom line I don’t think? Although, I would guess rates go up if he has a lot of employees on workmans comp. Not that it means it is ok to abuse workmans comp, not all.

I don’t think @ItalianPrincess1217 can lie if she wanted to. I would guess everyone at work knows she fainted first, and it is documented at her doctor that she has been fainting.

cheebdragon's avatar

You get up and move the fuck on with your life. YOU fainted, they didn’t strategically place that desk there for you to fall against. Accidents happen, it’s a part of life, that doesn’t give you the right to sue them. What if you had fallen on a coworker, would you want them to sue you? I hope you didn’t damage the desk on the way down…destruction of private property is a crime, you know…

chyna's avatar

Reading your other questions it does appear as if you are looking for a reason to stop working. I’m not saying that is what you are doing, just that it looks that way. You need to be fair to your employer and just quit since you can’t give them your full effort.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I believe that she can also apply for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act).

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optimisticpessimist's avatar

They will give you an x-ray when you are pregnant. (I do not know if it matters how far along you are.) I broke or fractured a rib when I was 8 months pregnant. They wanted to give me an x-ray; however, I declined as I did not think knowing whether it was broken or fractured really matter when I would have to sign a waiver due to my pregnancy. It is not like they could do anything for it anyway.

Did you ever find out if you would qualify for FMLA? I did find out NY does not increase the federal FMLA policy.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – employers pay the workman’s comp insurance and I am not sure what you mean by it not coming out of the bottom line, it comes out of his pocket and that is the relevant part.

I was just reading about it and it says employers can qualify for a discounted rate if the workplace is drug free. That is pretty funny since employees claim their privacy is being invaded if they must submit to rdt’s.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo What I meant is the employee is oaying for the insurance whether there is an accident or not, so it is already out of the bottom line. Again, I would never be in favor of lying or abusing workmans comp, just if she qualifies, she qualifies.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – do you mean employer? I as an employee never paid for my own WC???

JLeslie's avatar

Yes employer. Sorry. Getting too late on this side of the world, making too many mistakes.

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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

To be honest, I stopped reading the responses after a few very rude and accusing posts. I absolutely am not trying to get money from work or stop working. I’m not lazy. I enjoy being employed. I don’t live off the system. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing by simply stating I fainted and hit my back. I wasn’t sure if I needed to cover my ass anymore than that. I’m not going after them for money. It’s not a serious injury. And the fainting was due to my pregnancy, not my job or conditions at my job. I don’t understand why I’m being attacked. As far as my other post about disability I asked that because my doctor mentioned taking me out early. That’s not something I want. But if it’s safer for the baby, I’ll accept that. Its a shame that people jump to conclusions. If only you knew my personality (which I figured many would get a feel for since I’ve been a member of fluther for awhile now), then you might know that I’m the least lazy person out of any of my friends/family. I am always on the go. I am always planning. And I don’t encourage anyone to sit on their perfectly capable asses and live off the system. So please don’t judge me. It’s responses like @cheebdragon that make me question why I bother visiting this site at all anymore. It just stresses me the hell out.

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rooeytoo's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 – I am sorry if I was hurtful to you. As @JLeslie says I was responding more to those who were insinuating that this is an opportunity for you to take advantage of your employer. And I was complaining about the system which has nothing to do with you and was inappropriate under the circumstances. I hope you are feeling better and have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@rooeytoo Thank you :) I just wanted to make it clear I’m not looking to take advantage of the system or my employer.

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JLeslie's avatar

Whenever there is an accident at work, especially if it is a big company, it is policy to make record of the accident. It does not mean anyone is trying to get anything.

The answers are explained by the perspective of the person answering. Maybe the people answering are the type to want to get whatever they can if they can. That is what is in the answerers head not @ItalianPrincess1217.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please take all side conversations to PMs or an appropriate thread. Thanks!

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