As unfortunate as it is, accidents are bound to happen in the workplace. Whether you get injured lifting hefty loads, work with heavy machinery, or even in the office from a poorly structured glass door, you are entitled to some form of compensation. You might be confused about what actions you need to take to protect your rights and manage your medical bills and lost wages. Some companies would try to cover up your accident to avoid a lawsuit or refuse to compensate employees for their injury. Others would want a thorough report of the accident to make sure the employee was injured in the workplace. Deciding whether you need to hire a lawyer and going through the whole reporting process can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips on what you need to do if you have an accident at work.
1. Seek Medical Care
The first thing you need to do is to attend to your injury; any company must have a standard procedure for workplace injuries. Use the first-aid kit provided by your company and call the designated medic who should be present on site. Even if your injury seems minor, you need to give it proper attention. Go to the hospital and have a doctor look at your injury and undergo any required tests. It’s best to go with a colleague especially if you’ve sustained a head injury, which can lead to a concussion and loss of consciousness. Don’t think about filing a claim at that moment; you need to take care of your health first and then decide on the next step.
2. Collect Evidence of Your Injury
If you were injured around your coworkers, they are witnesses who can testify for your benefit, which will help you with your report. If the accident happened while you were alone, try to take pictures of your injury with a timestamp to prove it happened on your shift. With some companies, you may not have to go to that extreme measure to protect your rights, but, in many cases, it’s better to be prepared.
3. Report the Accident to Your Supervisor
You should inform your employer or supervisor when you’re injured at work. They can tell you what to do next or assist you if you feel confused or you were unable to see a doctor on your own. Telling your supervisor also starts the reporting process as they have to confirm any insurance forms you file so it’s better to keep them in the loop as soon as the accident happens. Don’t be reluctant in this step or fear they’d think you were clumsy or complaining too much; it’s your right to report any injury that happens during your job.
4. Hire an Attorney
If the whole process seems too overwhelming for you, consider hiring a professional lawyer. The experienced attorneys at Trollinger Law acknowledge how a traumatic incident can leave you feeling confused about how to move forward. An attorney will help you manage your claim regarding your medical expenses and consult you on what to do if you were unable to get back to work. You might need to take a long leave of absence until you’re fully recovered, in which case you’ll be entitled to a paid sick leave. Seeking professional help lets you know about your options so that you can make an informed decision.
5. File a Claim
You’re entitled to a worker’s compensation if you were injured at work. After taking care of your injury, you need to file an injury claim with the date, place, and type of injury accompanied by your doctor’s reports. This claim must be approved by your employer, who will send it to the insurance company to pay for your medical expenses. In this report, you can attach any pictures or evidence you took at the time of your accident to support your claim and make the process go smoother. Some claims take longer to be approved, so it is helpful to write down any side effects that you may experience after your accident in case you’re asked about them later.
6. Record All Your Expenses
Keep track of everything you paid for during your treatment. From the moment you sustained an injury, write down any lost wages like transportation expenses to the doctor, hospital bills, medicines, and even first-aid supplies. If writing is inconvenient, you can take pictures of any receipts or bills and send them with your claim. Your company has to compensate you for all these expenses. Be thorough as you record any event that happened in the process because it will probably come up when investigating your claim. Many companies will dissect each detail to detect any unrelated gaps in your claim and avoid reimbursing you for your expenses.
7. Write an Entry in the Accident Book
Companies should keep an accident book to record all injuries during work. These records help the employees learn from their colleagues’ mistakes and educate them on how to avoid similar accidents. Any injury, whether minor or major, should be recorded in the accident book. The entry should mention the date, time, and type of the injury. Employers use this book to learn about any dangerous equipment that should be replaced or fixed. Regular presentations should be conducted in the workplace about previous injuries to raise awareness at work and prevent any future workplace accidents.
Lastly, it’s normal to be confused after being involved in a workplace accident, as you wouldn’t know where to start. It’s important to first take care of your health and focus on your treatment before deciding how to proceed. You should still keep these tips in mind in case you sustain an injury at work to be able to protect your rights. In any case, you should know that you have a right to be compensated by your company because you sustained an injury working your shift and by now you have an idea on how to go on with the process.
Posted 1 month ago by Allen Brown