What to Do If You’re Injured at Work
Nobody should ever have to work in an unsafe environment. This is true whether you’re working in an office or somewhere that has a reputation for being dangerous, like a shipyard, construction site, or factory floor. Even if a job is known for being risky, employers still have a responsibility to make sure the workplace is as safe as possible, without unnecessary dangers.
When proper precautions aren’t taken, it’s extremely easy for hard-working people to get hurt. If this happens to you, here’s what you need to do:
Report the Accident
When you’ve been injured at work, it’s very important that the accident be reported to a manager or supervisor right away. If you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, your employer will be the one to start the process, so they need to be aware of the accident as soon as possible. Reporting the accident also ensures they are aware of a potential safety issue in the workplace so that they are on notice that something may need to be fixed to improve safety.
Get Medical Treatment
Don’t hesitate to get medical treatment as soon as possible after your accident and make sure that your doctor is aware that you were injured at work. Not only is it important to make sure you are getting the care you need, if there’s a delay between the accident and getting medical treatment, the more likely it is the employer will try to argue that the accident wasn’t work-related. For instance, if you were injured after falling at work but waited until the next day to see a doctor, the employer might try to suggest that you fell at home or somewhere else instead.
Keep Detailed Records
Dealing with the results of an accident can be extremely overwhelming. This is true whether it’s a car accident or a work-related injury. Not only do you have the pain of your injuries to cope with, you’ll have lots of doctor appointments to go to, specialists to talk to, medications to take. You’ll also start to see exactly how your injury impacts your life in various ways, even in ways you might not initially expect. With so much going on, it’s very important to keep detailed records of everything that relates to your accident.
In addition to things like paper records you might receive, be sure to take notes each day about things like who you talked to about your injury, what was discussed, your pain levels, any out-of-pocket expenses you incur, and how exactly your injury impacted your life. For example, were you unable to do something you would’ve liked to do as a result of your injury? Details like that are all very important to your case and it can be easy to forget things if you don’t write them down.
Contact a Workplace Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve been injured, it’s extremely important to make sure your rights are being protected. Even if it seems like your employer is trying to make sure you’re being well cared for, there’s a chance you might not be getting all the benefits you’re entitled to. A workplace injury lawyer will be able to answer any questions you have and make sure your case is being handled correctly.
In most cases, when a person suffers a workplace injury, their only option for recovering damages is through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation helps cover things like medical expenses, lost wages, and other related care while recovering from a work-related injury. In cases of fatal accidents, it can also cover funeral expenses.
Generally speaking, an injured worker isn’t able to file a lawsuit in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, if an injury was the result of willful, gross negligence on behalf of their employer, then the injured worker might be able to file a lawsuit against their employer. They might also be able to sue their employer if the employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance. Or in some situations, it could be possible to sue a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective product that caused the injury. A lawyer will be able to make sure the correct parties are held accountable.
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