When it comes to getting injured on the job, the initial pain isn’t always the hardest thing you’ll need to deal with.
Oftentimes, the real issues reveal themselves in the days after the injury. You may face uncertainty, frustration, and disruptions to your everyday life. Any of these problems may lead to you mishandling the claims process and not getting proper compensation.
If you’ve never dealt with an accident at work before, you should know that time is of the essence. Here are the key steps to take after suffering a work-related injury.
Seek Medical Attention
If your work injury was serious enough, you were likely already rushed to urgent care. If not, you’ll need to seek medical attention yourself.
Don’t try to diagnose your injuries on your own. The only way to determine the true nature of an injury is to see a doctor. Even if the injuries don’t seem serious, you may experience pain and complications in the future.
A documented doctor’s visit also serves as evidence of your injuries. This can play a huge role in your workers’ compensation claim.
Notify Your Employer
After seeking medical care, the next thing to do is notify your employer of the injury. It’s best to do it in writing, such as via email or letter.
If you’ve already notified them of the injury orally, make a note of the details. Write down the date, time, name of your employer, and how they responded. Then, follow it up with a written letter that confirms your oral report.
The key thing here is to notify your employer right away. Waiting too long to report workplace injuries weakens your case with the insurance company.
File Necessary Paperwork
Once you report the injury, your employer should offer you a claim form. If they don’t, contact your state’s Workers’ Compensation Office to get one.
When you get the form, complete only the “Employee” section. Return the form to your employer and keep a copy for yourself. Remember, not filing a claim on time may cause you to lose your rights to compensation.
Your employer will fill out the “Employer” section and send the form to the insurance company. You should hear from them within two weeks.
Contact an Attorney
While you’re waiting for the letter from the insurance company, you’ll want to cover your bases. The best way to do that is to hire an attorney.
A good personal injury attorney will know all about workplace negligence. They’ll make sure you understand the case and your rights. They can handle all the complications for you, taking the headache out of the process.
Keep in mind your employer will have a lawyer, so you should protect yourself as well. Here’s what you must know about finding a personal injury lawyer.
More on What to Do If You’re Injured on the Job
As you can see, getting injured on the job can get complicated. With so many moving pieces in a workers’ comp case, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The bottom line: act quickly and seek professional help if necessary.
Want to know more about the importance of workplace safety and health? Keep reading our legal-related content!