While this post may provide you with a basic overview, it is not a replacement for the expertise of our lawyers here at Umbrella Injury Law. We encourage you to contact us after reading through this information to ensure your questions are fully answered and to protect your rights as you navigate your personal injury claim.
The Workers Compensation Board (“WCB”) was created as a way to protect employers from lawsuits by employees for injuries or illness sustained during the course, or as a result, of their employment. The WCB acts as an insurer and pays for various medical expenses, rehabilitation, return-to-work programs and lost wages for the injured employee.
So, who do I call?
Your employer is required to report your injuries to WCB within 72 hours of being notified of your injury. If you are physically able, you should tell your employer at the time of the incident/as soon as possible thereafter or, in the case of illness, at the onset of symptoms.
No matter the severity of your injury or illness, tell every medical practitioner on whom you attend that your attendance is a result of a workplace injury/issue, as they are required to report their treatment to WCB, as well. Lastly, you should contact WCB right away so that your file can be opened, and coordination of your available benefits can begin.
Motor vehicle accidents
If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision during the course of your employment, there is some important information that WCB will need to determine before you can retain a personal injury lawyer. Under the Workers Compensation Act, where both parties are deemed to have been in the course of their employment at the time and both are covered by WCB, any civil lawsuit is statute-barred, regardless of fault.
The claim must be resolved through WCB. This is why it is important to open a claim with WCB as early in the process as possible in order to determine whether the person liable for your injuries was also covered by WCB. If they were not, you can retain a lawyer to begin a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and their vehicle insurer.
Keep in mind that should you hire a personal injury lawyer, you are still required to follow the WCB protocols for treatment, rehabilitation, and return-to-work plans. Your personal injury lawyer will work in conjunction with WCB and in fact, WCB will subrogate* their claim with your personal injury lawyer for the benefits they pay out as a result of your injuries against the at-fault party. This means that your personal injury lawyer is working for both your interests and those of WCB.
If your injuries were not the result of a motor vehicle accident and your employer is in an industry that provides coverage through WCB (certain industries are exempt such as golf courses and massage providers – check with your employer or WCB to see if you are covered) you may be unable to sue any worker or employer when the conduct of that worker or employer that caused or contributed to your injury arose out of and occurred during the course of employment. You should consult a lawyer if you believe that you are entitled to compensation over WCB benefits.
Other important information to keep in mind
Whether you are able to hire your own lawyer or are required to facilitate your claim through WCB, maintaining detailed records of the incident surrounding an accident, injury or illness at work will assist your WCB claims advisor and/or lawyer in pursuing your claim efficiently and effectively. WCB may require original receipts for expenses, so make copies for your own records.
Ensure you record:
- the names of all witnesses, their addresses and phone numbers
- name and date of any medical professional appointments
- date and summary of all conversations with any WCB employees
- medications prescribed
- a detailed list of any assistance you require to complete household tasks and maintenance
- a diary of your recovery
- any time lost at work/accommodation you require in order to complete your job duties.
What can I expect after I retain a lawyer and Umbrella Injury Law?
One of our lawyers will want to meet with you, if at all possible, to obtain documents such as:
- police reports
- copies of any WCB correspondence
- medical records
- anything else we deem as necessary
We will investigate the details of your claim and help you navigate the complex and lengthy process of personal injury claims and determine if we are able to assist you.
We hope this summary answers some of your questions. It is now more important than ever to contact the lawyers at Umbrella Injury Law to discuss your accident and address the questions you have. At Umbrella Injury Law, We Got You Covered.
If you’re ready to take the next step or need more information, contact Umbrella Injury Law today.
*Subrogation is a legal right held by most insurance providers to legally pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured.