7 Steps to Take When You Suffer From an Injury at Work
How common are workplace injuries? More common than you think. According to the National Safety Council, someone is injured every seven seconds on the job.
In some cases, the injuries can even be fatal. In fact, there were more than 5,200 fatalities in 2018 alone.
The worst part? Most of them could have been prevented. That’s why workplace safety is so important.
Did you recently suffer an injury at work? Not sure what you should do? If so, you’re on the right page.
We’ll be going over everything that you need to know below—so make sure to read the rest of the post!
What’s a Workplace Injury?
A workplace injury is any injury that occurs at work. It may happen on company property or on company business.
As a result of the accident, an employee may require medical treatment or time away from work. The employer will be responsible for filing a document known as the First Report of Injury or Illness.
Not only that, but they’ll have to cooperate with the worker’s compensation carrier if a claim is pursued.
Most Common Workplace Injuries
Other common injuries include cuts, lacerations, and muscle strains. In addition to that, it’s not uncommon for individuals to be hit by falling objects.
For example, objects may fall out of cupboards or shelves and cause nasty injuries, especially if the individual doesn’t see it coming.
7 Steps to Take After Suffering an Injury at Work
There are a number of things that you want to do after suffering a workplace injury. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Treat Your Injury
The first thing that you want to do is focus on your injury. In other words, get it treated by a first aider (all workplaces are legally obligated to have a designated first aider).
Remember, just because an injury doesn’t look serious doesn’t mean that it isn’t.
2. Consult a Doctor
First aid is only first aid—it’s still important that you see a doctor after the accident. If necessary, go to the emergency room.
Tell them exactly what happened and all of your symptoms. It’s important that they record everything you say.
If you’re not satisfied with the visit, you can always go to a different doctor. Depending on your health insurance, the costs may be covered.
3. Let Your Colleagues Know About the Accident
Were you working alone at the time of the accident? If so, make sure that your colleagues are aware of what happened.
This is important if you decide to file a claim for compensation at a later date. You don’t want to give your employer and their insurers a chance to dispute the occurrence of the accident—because unfortunately, it can happen.
By alerting your colleagues to the accident, they’ll also be able to protect themselves from being in a similar incident.
4. Report Your Injuries and Make a Claim
You want to report your injuries as soon as possible. The sooner you let your employer know, the sooner they’ll be able to report the incident. Make sure to ask for a copy of the documents.
In addition to that, you want to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The deadline to do so differs from state to state so make sure to double-check the dates.
Note: It’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney first before filing a report. Ideally, you want to work with someone who’s had experience with workers’ compensation claims.
5. Take Photos and Videos
Take photos of the incident. More specifically, you want to take photos of where the accident occurred as well as your injuries—they’ll come in handy when you’re making a compensation claim (i.e. you can submit them as evidence).
Don’t just take one or two photos and call it a day, though. You want to take them from a variety of angles so that you’ll be able to better support your claim.
Of course, you can also take videos. After all, you can never have too much evidence.
6. Keep a Post-Accident Journal
Keep a post-accident journal to document your case. You can write it by hand or type it on a computer—it doesn’t matter as long as you can access it.
Why is this important? For one thing, doctors don’t always make a full record of your symptoms. That is, they tend to only concentrate on what’s most serious at the time.
This can make it difficult to attribute an injury to the accident months later. That’s why you want to write everything down—it’ll help you explain the impact of the accident.
7. Keep a Record of Your Expenses
Keep track of your expenses and losses—it’ll help with your claim. For example, if you lost pay due to the accident, you should be able to recover it. The same goes for promotions and bonuses.
The more documentation you have, the more accurate your settlement will be. Remember, a personal injury claim can last a few years so it’s imperative that you record everything down.
Filing a Compensation Claim
And there you have it—seven things to do after suffering an injury at work. If anything, don’t hesitate to work with an attorney; they’ll be able to help you with your claim.
Looking for one in the Albuquerque area? We can help! Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.