Did you trip and fall at work recently? Maybe there was a loose wire or faulty equipment. Either way, these accidents happen more often than people realize.
In fact, 39.5 million physician office visits every year are for unintentional injuries. Of these, 292. million end up visiting the emergency room. As a result, these patients miss out on work.
Many people have to deal with costly medical bills, rehabilitation, and the cost of medication.
If you were in a workplace injury, you could find yourself struggling under the weight of these costs. By taking the right steps, you can receive the compensation you deserve. However, you’ll need to follow these steps before your time runs out.
Keep reading to discover the five steps you need to take after sustaining an injury at work.
1. Call for Help
If you were injured at work, make sure to consult a doctor immediately following your accident. Over 229,000 injuries involve machinery and equipment. Many of these injuries are so intense that employees have to miss work to heal.
Visiting a doctor will help you determine how long you need to rest. Otherwise, returning back to work following the accident could cause your injuries to get worse. Returning to work without consulting a doctor could also impact your claim.
You might need to consider visiting the emergency room. In most cases, your employer should pay for the travel costs the day you’re injured.
Even if your injury doesn’t initially seem serious, make sure to visit a doctor. In fact, your employer might require you to visit a doctor post-injury. Ask if they have a specific doctor they want you to visit.
While at the doctor’s office, make sure to tell the doctor what happened. List all the symptoms you’re experiencing as well. Make sure the doctor takes notes and sends a Health Professional’s Report.
Make sure to record the severity of your injuries and any treatments they suggest.
If you’re not satisfied after your doctor’s appointment, consider visiting your own physician for a second opinion. You are entitled to a second opinion under workers’ compensation laws.
In some cases, however, workers’ compensation won’t initially pay for the second doctor’s visit. Consider paying for it yourself. Keep track of your medical bills and reports for the sake of building your case.
Otherwise, your health insurance might cover the second doctor’s appointment.
2. Tell Your Supervisor
Immediately post-injury, make sure to tell your employer what happened. If this is your first time navigating a workplace injury, they can walk you through the sets.
It’s important to tell your employer you were injured regardless of your injuries. In many cases, adrenaline can mask the pain. You might not realize how severe your injuries are until after visiting a doctor.
Your employer will help you determine which steps you need to take under their guidelines.
Otherwise, let your employer know about any safety concerns. What causes the accident? Could you have avoided the accident if your employer made a chance?
Informing your supervisor about what happened will help them implement new safety measures. Their preventative measures can help keep someone else from sustaining injuries.
Employee Incident Reports
Make sure to ask your supervisor about the company’s guidelines for employee incident reports. In fact, many states require employees to fill an incident report by a certain deadline.
How long do you have to report an injury at work? That usually depends on the state you’re working in. Workers’ compensation laws require you to complete an incident report by a specific deadline for you to qualify.
Make sure to complete the necessary documents as soon as possible to avoid missing the cut.
3. Keep Track
There are a few steps you can take post-injury to strengthen your claim. Immediately following your injury, start taking notes. Waiting to write everything down could cause you to forget certain details.
If you sustained a head injury or concussion, you might find it’s more difficult to remember certain facts. Try to write your notes down as soon as possible, including:
- Where the accident occurred
- The day and time
- What you were doing right before the accident took place
- The names of anyone who witnessed the accident
- What you think caused the accident
Your employer might try to make a case that you didn’t sustain your injury on the job. Taking detailed notes can help you make a strong claim. Otherwise, you might lack the evidence you need for compensation.
4. Make a Claim
After your workplace injury, consider making a claim for worker’s compensation. The benefits will cover the cost of your medical bills, treatments, and missed work. Workers’ compensation is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
It’s not your job to prove that your work caused the injury or lead you to develop a disease. Instead, you’ll need to show how your work contributed to the disease or injury. A lawyer can do the heavy lifting to prove your claim.
Let’s say you’ve sustained musculoskeletal damage after prolonged heavy lifting. Back pain tends to get worse over time. It can even contribute to a disability.
In some cases, the problem might start at home before getting worse while you’re at work.
While some workplace injuries are the result of an accident, others are from repetitive work habits.
In these cases, it’s important to keep a record of your symptoms. Make sure to track when you experience symptoms and how long they’ve occurred. You can then provide this information to a lawyer to strengthen your case.
5. Call a Lawyer
You don’t have to go through this process alone. Instead, consider hiring a lawyer who has experience with workplace injuries. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help strengthen your claim.
Make sure they have prior experience with cases similar to yours.
What To Do After Sustaining a Workplace Injury: 5 Steps Toward Compensation
The steps you take after sustaining a workplace injury are crucial. By following these five steps, you can get the compensation you deserve. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying off those medical bills alone.
Want to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer? Contact us today to get started.