Once every seven seconds, a worker gets injured while on the job. No matter how careful employers are about creating and enforcing safety protocols, accidents at work can happen to the best of us.
Have you experienced a workplace injury recently? Do you have questions like “if I get injured at work, do I get paid?” or “when do I need to seek out injury at work lawyers?” or “what should I do first after an injury happens?”
Read on for answers to these and other important questions. Armed with this information, you’ll know exactly what you should do after a work injury occurs.
File a Report
The first step you need to take after an accident takes place is to file a report. Reach out to your supervisor or an HR rep and find out what the proper protocol is for filing an accident report. You’ll need to do this before you can receive any kind of compensation for your injuries.
Once you file a report, your employer can begin investigating the situation. They can also contact their insurance provider and begin the process of getting you the paid time off and compensation you deserve.
Seek Medical Care
You should also see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident takes place. This is important even if you don’t think you have any serious injuries.
The longer you wait to see a doctor, the harder it will be to determine whether your injuries or symptoms are the results of the accident or something else.
If you delay getting checked out by a professional, it also casts doubt on the severity of your injuries and your need for compensation. This could make it harder for you to get paid for the time you had to take off from work, as well as make it more difficult for you to cover the cost of your medical bills.
Know the Laws
It’s important to make sure you understand the workers’ compensation laws in your state, too. For example, there are laws regarding whether or not an employee can file a lawsuit against an employer for an injury that takes place on the job. There are also laws about what kind of injuries are covered.
The better your understanding is of these rules and laws, the less likely you’ll be to receive any unpleasant surprises as you go through the process of recovering and being compensated for your injuries.
Follow Up and Report Injuries
After you’ve seen a doctor, you may need to follow up with your employer and report your specific injuries. Let them know exactly what kind of injuries you’re dealing with and their symptoms. Include documentation from your doctor (including things like x-rays and other diagnostic reports) to back up your claim and provide them with the evidence they need.
Remember, it’s important to stay in contact with your employer throughout this process. Don’t just assume that things are being taken care of for you. If you’re not diligent about taking action on your end, your accident could end up getting swept under the rug or lost in the shuffle.
Contact an Attorney
You may need to seek out legal help if you’re injured at work and are having a hard time getting compensated for your injuries and/or the time you’ve had to take off to have your injuries treated.
Their knowledge of work-related injury laws will come in very handy and help you ensure you’re not taken advantage of during this vulnerable period in your life. They’ll be able to take some of the load off your shoulders, too, and make it easier for you to manage your stress.
It’s not always necessary to have a lawyer on your side. There are some situations in which it’s beneficial, though, including the following:
- Your claim has been denied or is taking a very long time to be processed
- Your employer appears to be retaliating against you (cutting hours, demoting you, terminating your position, etc.)
- You have serious long-term or even permanent medical issues or disabilities that could prevent you from continuing to do your job
If you receive social security benefits, you may also need the help of a lawyer. They’ll help you ensure your settlement is structured in the appropriate way.
When you’re going through this process, you also need to document everything.
Take notes about what happened during your accident, as well as how your employer has responded moving forward. Save emails, text messages, and other communications between you, your lawyer, your employer, and the insurance company. Hang onto all of your medical records and documents, too.
The more documentation you have that backs up your case and verifies the severity of your injuries, the easier it will be for you to get the compensation you need. It’ll also be easier for your lawyer, should you hire one, to create a strong case for you.
Take Care of Yourself
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself after experiencing a work injury.
This is a difficult time, especially if you’re having problems with your employer and have had to bring in a lawyer to help you out. Do your best to manage your stress and take care of your injuries, though.
This will help you heal faster and get back to work sooner. You’ll also be better equipped to advocate for yourself and withstand any additional stressors that come your way.
Remember These Tips to Handle Accidents at Work with Ease
As you can see, there’s a lot that you need to do after accidents at work happen, especially if you want to make sure you get compensated appropriately.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after an accident occurs. If you keep this information in mind, though, you’ll be able to check everything off your life and get the help you need to win your case.
Do you want to learn more about workplace accidents or injuries? Check out some of the legal articles on our site today for more important information.