No matter how many precautions a business takes to keep its employees safe, accidents still happen. How employers and employees respond to these accidents makes all the difference.
Despite the size of your business, there are certain hazards and risks that come with employing different people in different roles. Whether it’s a deep laceration, simple sprain, toxic exposure, or repetitive strain injury, business and employees should always be prepared.
Here are some of the most important steps to follow if you suffer an injury at work in order to receive the compensation you rightly deserve.
7 Crucial Steps to Take When Faced with Injury at Work
Across the expansive range of businesses and industries today, some of the most common workplace injuries include slip and fall accidents. While other job site accidents range from lacerations and cuts, muscle strain, and trauma caused by falling objects.
No matter how small or insignificant an injury may seem at the time, you may want to seek out workers compensation specialists to help you with your claim. But first, these are the crucial steps to take after a workplace accident:
1. Tend To Your Injury Right Away
If you’re injured on the job but feel fine, it’s important to seek out treatment anyway. Some of the simplest accidents can show up as nasty injuries down the line.
The first thing you should do is seek treatment from an onsite first aider or doctor. Immediate treatment is important because it gives you a chance to really come to terms with how you’re feeling, rather than just powering through your workday.
2. Visit the Appropriate Doctor
First aid is generally a simplified treatment or cleanup of an injury. You still need to visit a doctor after your accident, and if necessary, you may even have to go to the emergency room. Make sure to relay exactly what happened during the accident in as much detail as possible. Let the doctor know all of your symptoms, as well as any previous injuries you had prior to the accident.
The consulting physician or medical professional should record everything you say about the accident. Bear in mind that if you’re a federal employee, you are covered by FECA, and you have the right to select any qualified doctor to treat you.
If you are not covered by FECA, state law applies with regards to physician selection. In some states, you can apply to see your own doctor, but this must be put in writing before any workplace injuries occur. Under state law, you will be referred to a physician that has been recruited by your employer.
Always Disclose Previous Injuries
One of the most important things to remember when consulting with a doctor is to report any previous injuries you had before the accident took place. A failure to report previous injuries can result in you losing any type of compensation. In some cases, it’s considered fraud to not report previous injuries.
3. Ensure You Have Witnesses of the Accident
When it comes to filing a compensation claim, you don’t want to give your employer or their insurer a reason to dispute the accident based on a lack of evidence.
This is why it’s important to ensure that someone witnessed the accident and are aware of your injuries. This way, you can also warn your colleagues about potential dangers they could face in the workplace and how to protect themselves from injury.
4. Report the Accident and File a Claim
As soon as you have a clear understanding and outline of the extent of your injuries, you must report them right away. The sooner your employer is aware of your injuries, the sooner they can report the incident. Always ask for a copy of the incident report for your own records.
After this, you’ll need to file a worker’s compensation claim. Each state has its own deadline on when to file a claim after a workplace accident, so be sure to research the correct filing date and timeframe. In order to bolster your claim and receive the compensation you deserve, it may be best to hire a worker’s compensation attorney. Make sure to choose an attorney with specific experience in your field of injury.
5. Record Evidence of the Incident and Injuries
It’s important to gather as much evidence as you can regarding the incident — where it took place, how it happened, and the extent of your injuries. Take photos or record video of where the accident occurred, as well as your injuries and how they progress or heal over time.
Make sure to be as thorough as possible in your evidence collection. Take a variety of photos from different angles so you can best capture the scene as well as the extent of your pain and suffering.
6. Keep a Post-Accident Journal
This is another way to bolster your compensation claim and build up your collection of evidence. Whether you write it out in a journal or type it out on a laptop, make sure you record every detail of the accident and claim process.
Bear in mind that a doctor’s records of your symptoms are not always as detailed as they should be. This is because they tend to focus on the most severe symptoms at the time. As a result, this makes it tricky to attribute your injury to the accident a few months down the line. By keeping a detailed record of your symptoms and the progression of an injury, you have all the evidence you need.
7. Record All Your Expenses
It’s important to keep track of all your medical expenses and other losses when filing a compensation claim. This includes the medical costs to treat and rehabilitate an injury, as well as a loss of income when you cannot work. Don’t forget to include a record of the bonuses or salary increases you could have also missed out on.
The more detailed and documented your incident is, the better chance you have of receiving fair and accurate compensation!
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An injury at work can have devastating consequences on your quality-of-life and your ability to earn an income. Don’t overlook the importance of being as thorough as possible when gathering and filing evidence for your compensation claim.
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