What Do I Do If I Was Injured At Work?
In every industry, injuries at work are possible, although never welcome. Even though workplace laws may be the last thing you want to think about when dealing with an on-the-job injury, it’s important to keep these things in mind.
Step 1: See a Doctor
First things first, if the injuries sustained need medical attention, seek a doctor’s help immediately. There is nothing as important as your health, so call your doctor or see the company doctor immediately.
Something you may want to note is that, if your injury and insurance allow, you should opt to see a doctor other than the one hired by your company. Doctors that are affiliated with your company may diagnose your injury as pre-existing or milder than reality, as they have a larger interest in your company than you as a patient.
Some cases end up with an injury resulting in immediate treatment by the company doctor. Injured workers should also consider going to your own doctor for a second opinion. This may end up increasing the amount you can claim on insurance.
Step 2: File an Accident Report
As soon as you’re physically able, file an accident report. Many states have short statutes of limitation, meaning you won’t be able to formally report the injury after a certain number of days following the accident. Filing this report enables you to be covered under worker’s compensation laws. It’s important to file this report even if you’re not injured, as you may experience delayed symptoms, or a trend of accidents may point to a larger problem. You can get the correct report either from your employer or from the state.
Step 3: Claim Workers’ Compensation
If your injury was not the fault of drugs or alcohol, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You should note that you cannot sue your employer for an injury in this case, unless your injury or illness was caused by asbestos exposure.
Ask your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf, making sure to follow up with your employer so that the claim is filed in a timely manner. You are entitled to a copy of this claim, so you can know for certain that the claim was submitted.
State workers’ compensation shouldn’t create tension between you and your employer, especially if they carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is vital because it helps to cover medical expenses of medical treatment for your work-related injuries. Keep up with the progress of your employer so you don’t miss out on these benefits.
Step 4: Hire an Attorney
You never want to assume that everything will work out in your best interest. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you with your injury claims, as well as protect you from any unfair treatment from the various parties you’ll have to deal with in this situation. An injury attorney can also help you through a complex situation, like independent contractors’ rights. The best way to defend yourself from ending up a victim is to find a qualified attorney who knows the law.
Conclusion: On-the-Job Injury
Essentially, you should remember that you do have rights in the event of an on-the-job injury. If you are ever injured at work, act as quickly as possible so you can exercise your rights. Your rights and other entitlements may extend beyond even what we mentioned here, so if you’ve recently suffered a workplace injury and need legal advice, call our experts at Wettermark Keith soon.