I have had too many conversations with injured workers that go like this:
Me: “Where were you working?”
Client: “I had just started there, its over on Southern and 48th Street.”
Me : “Who saw the accident”
Client: “Uh, Gordo (nickname for fat guy), the foreman – Guero (nickname meaning light- skinned) and a tall American guy.”
….As you can imagine, this is not helpful when trying to file a claim and piece together a witness list. Many times when I first meet a client who is battling a claim denied by the employer/insurance company, and the client no longer works for the company where he was injured, I wish I could go back in time with the client to gather information at the workplace which would be useful in defending the claim. Such as:
#1 – Know the name of the company you work for!! Sometimes when a worker is referred to a job site through a friend or family member and begin to work before actually filling out a job application, the actual name of the company who has hired the worker can become unclear. This happens especially with smaller companies. It is very important to know the name of the company you work for. You can look around the worksite to find this out, does a supervisor come onsite? If so does he or she drive a truck with the company logo? Are you picked up by a truck that has a logo? Are there signs with the company logo at the worksite? Do others wear shirts with the company logo? Where are the headquarters of the company you are working for?
#2 – Know the names and last names of your supervisors and co-workers. Not only are these people potential witnesses to a work injury, they can also testify as to the fact that you were even working at the work site (yes, sometimes even the fact of your employment becomes an issue) I’ll get people come in with descriptions of co-workers, where they are from, and nicknames, but not first and last names.
#3 – Keep your pay stubs, if you are paid in cash, keep a log of payments, deposit slips or receipts. This is helpful in proving you worked for a company or establishing the amount you were paid while working for a company.
Obviously no one wants to get hurt on the job, but taking simple precautions and gathering information will help protect you should you ever sustain an injury on the job and are in the difficult situation of not working there AND trying to prove you worked there and had an injury.
If you have been injured on the job or suffer form a condition that will prevent you for working for 12 months or longer, contact Snow, Carpio & Weekley at 855-325-4781 for a free consultation statewide. You may also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.workinjuryaz.com.