If you suffered from an injury at work, you may not know what to do next. Here are 7 key steps to take immediately after an injury at work.
Over 5,000 fatal work injuries occurred in 2019, up 2% from 2018. The number of non-fatal injuries reached 2.8 cases per 100 workers.
If you sustained an injury at work, it’s important to seek help right away. The steps you follow after you’re injured could impact your future. You can file a worker’s compensation claim to receive the compensation you deserve.
Otherwise, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to cover those expenses. If you have to miss work, you could struggle to cover the costs.
Here are seven steps you should take after getting injured at work. By following these steps, you can strengthen your claim.
Then, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can cover your expenses.
Make your claim! Get started with these steps to follow after getting injured at work today.
1. Inform a Supervisor
As soon as you sustain an injury at work, find your supervisor. Let them know what happened. Your supervisor can review your rights and provide further guidance.
Regardless of the extent of your injury, it’s important to talk to your supervisor. They’ll have paperwork you’ll need to fill out. Make sure to complete an official accident report right away.
Some states require workers to file an accident report by a specific deadline. Otherwise, you won’t receive your worker’s compensation. In order to qualify for compensation, you have to report what happened.
When you speak with your supervisor, let them know if you have any safety concerns. Your concerns could encourage them to make changes. The changes they make could save someone else from a potential injury in the future.
Your supervisor will let you know what rules and steps to follow moving forward. If you don’t tell them what happened, you might have to continue working in dangerous conditions.
2. Seek Medical Attention
About 27% of nonfatal work injuries that result in days away from work are related to slips, trips, and falls. Another 235,740 are due to contact with objects and equipment.
About 2.5 million workers sustain work-related injuries that require treatment in emergency departments.
Immediately after sustaining an injury at work, inform your supervisor and seek medical treatment right away. Your supervisor might require you to visit a specific doctor. Your employer should cover the travel costs if you visit a hospital or physician after you’re injured.
Make sure you visit the doctor your supervisor refers you to.
If you disagree with the doctor’s assessment, you’re entitled to a second opinion under worker’s compensation laws. However, worker’s compensation might not cover the costs of the second visit. You might have to pay out of pocket.
Make sure to track any expenses related to your injuries.
During your appointment, tell the doctor exactly what happened. Make sure to list the symptoms you’re experiencing. The doctor should make a record of what you tell them.
Ask them to send a Health Professional’s Report as well. Their report can help build your worker’s compensation claim.
3. Gather Evidence
If you can, return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. It’s possible someone will clean up the scene of the accident. You’ll want to gather evidence before any changes are made.
It’s normal to forget certain details in the days or weeks after sustaining an injury at work. With that in mind, write down what you remember as soon as possible. You can keep a record while the memory is still fresh.
As you write down your account, consider:
- Where the accident occurred
- The date and time of the accident
- What you were doing when the accident occurred
- The names and contact information of anyone who witnessed what happened
Your worker’s comp lawyer might want to contact witnesses when building your lawsuit.
Your employer might argue that you didn’t get hurt at work. Make sure to file your official report on the day of the accident. Otherwise, they might not take any claims you make seriously.
Here are a few common workplace accidents you might encounter on the job.
4. File Your Claim
After you’re injured at work, make sure to file a worker’s compensation claim right away.
Worker’s comp will cover your injuries. It can also cover a disease you develop while on the job. Worker’s compensation is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to prove you sustained your injuries on the job. However, you will need to prove work significantly contributed to your injuries.
For example, some people develop back injuries by repeating the same motions over time. You might struggle to prove one incident caused your back pain. However, you could indicate the problems started at work, then got worse over time.
About 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode of back pain. Another 16 million reported chronic back pain, which can limit everyday activities.
Back pain is also the sixth most costly condition in the US. About 83 million days of work are lost due to back pain.
Whether your injury developed over time or occurred due to an accident, file your worker’s compensation claim right away. You don’t want the statute of limitations to lapse. Filing your claim immediately will ensure you don’t miss the deadline.
Your worker’s comp lawyer can help you file your claim.
5. Hire a Lawyer
There are now over 135,221 personal injury lawyers and attorneys in the US. Not every lawyer will have the experience and expertise you need. After getting injured at work, make sure to find an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer.
Try to find a lawyer with experience that’s relevant to your case. Their prior experience can strengthen your lawsuit.
During your search for a lawyer, consider how long they’ve practiced. An experienced lawyer will have more case experience they can rely on. They can use what they’ve learned over the years when building your case.
Choose someone who has specialized in worker’s compensation cases over the years, too. A worker’s comp lawyer will know which laws and procedures are relevant to your claim.
Make sure the lawyer you choose is licensed to practice law in your area. You can check your local bar association website. Some laws differ based on your location.
If they’re not up-to-date with relevant laws and procedures, they might struggle to build your lawsuit.
You can also learn more about their capabilities by heading online. Look for reviews from some of their recent clients. Online reviews can tell you more about the lawyer’s abilities.
As you start narrowing down your options, schedule a consultation appointment with at least three lawyers on your list. Discuss the details of your case. Ask what outcome they expect from your worker’s comp claim.
Your worker’s comp lawyer should help you remain realistic. If they make outlandish promises, look elsewhere. Instead, choose a lawyer who has your best interests in mind.
They’ll help you build a strong case. With their help, you can fight for the compensation you deserve.
6. Track Your Expenses
After you’re injured at work, it’s important to keep a record of everything. You can use your notes when building your worker’s compensation claim.
First, make sure to track the days you miss from work. Worker’s compensation law allows employees to receive weekly wage replacement payments. You’ll start receiving payments once you’re out of work for seven days.
Track any expenses related to your medical treatments, too. For example, you’ll need a record of every doctor’s appointment. Track the treatments and medications you receive as well.
If you have to travel for medical attention, track your mileage. You can receive payment for mileage that’s over 20 miles (round trip).
Your worker’s compensation lawyer will use these notes to calculate your losses. Without these details, they might struggle to fight for the compensation you deserve.
7. Prevent Future Accidents
After you sustain an injury at work, speak with your coworkers. You can’t share your medical information with others. However, you can take the time to listen to their concerns.
You can use what you learn from the experience to prevent potential accidents from occurring.
Assess what happened and speak with your employer. Tell them you want to help reduce the risk that someone will sustain an injury in the future.
Your employer might invest in education, training, and other resources. They could decide to schedule regular inspections as well. These changes could help prevent a future accident.
If employee safety isn’t a priority for your employer, let your worker’s compensation lawyer know.
Make Your Case: 7 Steps to Take After an Injury at Work
After you sustain an injury at work, you could find yourself out of the job for a while. Meanwhile, your medical bills might start to stack up. Don’t let the stress of a serious injury impact your quality of life.
Instead, take the time to contact a worker’s comp lawyer. By following these steps, you and your lawyer can build your lawsuit. You can fight for your rights and receive the compensation you deserve.
Need help making your case? Let’s work together to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation.