It’s not uncommon to get injured at work – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly three million people suffer a workplace injury yearly. While most of these injuries are relatively minor and can get treated with over-the-counter medication, some are more serious and may require hospitalization.
Some factors that increase the risk of workplace injuries include: working with heavy machinery, working in hazardous conditions, getting physical with a workmate, and doing manual labor. If you got injured while working, you must take steps immediately. Following these steps, you can ensure that you receive the necessary treatment and compensation.
Seek Medical Attention
If you got injured while working, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. By not getting medical attention, you could be putting your health at risk. Furthermore, if your injury gets worse because you did not seek treatment, you may not be able to sue your employer for damages.
The workplace often has a designated doctor that employees are supposed to see in the event of an injury. If your workplace does not have a designated doctor, you can go to an urgent care center or the emergency room.
Tell the doctor how you got injured and provide them with relevant information (e.g., safety regulations that got violated, defective equipment). This step will help the doctor determine the best treatment plan for you.
The recovery period might take days or weeks, depending on the severity of your injury. Your doctor will give you a note that indicates the duration of your treatment and how many days you will be unable to work.
File a Report
Unfortunately, medical treatment can be expensive, and if you miss work, you will lose income. You must file a report with your employer to ensure that you get compensated for your medical expenses and lost wages.
The first step is to notify your supervisor of the injury as soon as possible. Your employer should have an incident report form that needs filling out – make sure to get a copy of this form. The incident report should include:
- Your personal information
- Details of the accident
- Witness information (if any)
- The type of injuries suffered
After the supervisor got notified, they will likely want to conduct an investigation. It is essential to cooperate with the investigation and answer any questions honestly. If you lie about the accident, it could void your workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer should file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. If they don’t, you can file a claim yourself – although it is best to consult with an attorney before taking this step.
Follow Up With Your Employer
After completing the investigation and the workers’ compensation claim, you should follow up with your employer to ensure everything is in order.
First, check if the workers’ compensation insurance covers your medical expenses. If they’re not, you will have to pay out of pocket or use your health insurance (which could result in higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs).
Also, find out when you will start receiving your income benefits. These benefits should begin shortly after the accident and continue until you can return to work. If your employer is not cooperative or is delaying the process, you can file a complaint with the state workers’ compensation board.
The strategy will be essential, especially when the event puts you in a lot of debt due to medical payments and unpaid leaves.
Get a Lawyer
If you’re having trouble getting the compensation you deserve, it might be time to involve a lawyer. A lawyer will help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation.
The first step is to schedule a consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney. During this consultation, the lawyer will assess your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If they believe you have a strong chance, they will likely take on your case on a contingency basis. You won’t have to pay the lawyer unless they win your case.
The workers’ compensation process can be complicated and overwhelming, especially if you’re already dealing with an injury. An experienced law firm will help guide you through the process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Of course, the entire process will vary depending on the severity of your injury and your state’s workers’ compensation laws. But in general, these are the steps you need to take after getting injured at work. It might take a lot of time to accomplish, making it necessary to stay patient. Contact your doctor, supervisor, or a workers’ compensation attorney if you have any questions or concerns. They will be able to give you more specific information about your case.