Suffering an injury is never fun, but what can make it even worse is being injured at work where you expect to feel safe, especially if it wasn’t your fault. It can be devastating for you as well as your family. Besides the pain, it can involve big medical bills and absence of work which might mean losing pay.
What is a workplace injury?
It is an injury that happens at your workplace, on company property. When this happens, you may need medical treatment and time off from work. When the accident occurs, your employer is responsible for filing the report, besides handling the worker’s compensation with the insurance carrier should a claim be involved.
Even when businesses are insured against injuries and accidents—a legal necessity in many countries, and known as worker’s compensation—they have a vested interest in lessening the scope of their involvement or perceived fault, and this can be an obstacle in the relationship. It is well-known that they will find any loophole to deny your claim or even find ways to minimize the compensation you are due.
Thus, if you have experienced a workplace injury when you were on the job, make sure you do the following so that you can receive the compensation due to you.
6 steps to take when injured at work
Your first priority should be focusing on recovery. It’s important you get back to normal as fully and as carefully as you can. Then, after attending to your injuries, take the following steps:
1. Gather evidence
If you plan to take your case to court, gathering evidence is crucial. This includes the following:
- Proof that you have raised safety concerns in the past,
- Video footage of you complying with your safety protocols (this will often be found in the discovery period)
- Witnesses who may be colleagues
- Photos of shoddy conditions you were expected to work in.
- Your contract, proving you have worked and performed similar tasks for ten years without worry.
All this can strengthen your case.
Maybe others at your job have also voiced their concerns about how safety has been handled. Or, maybe you were out attending to a job with a partner, and they saw you fall from the ladder through no fault of your own. An impartial witness within the storefront might be able to help you if they also saw your injury take place. This process can be hard to pursue on your own, so you might need a personal injury attorney.
2. Report the injury and obtain an accident report
Promptly report the injury in writing as soon as you can to your employer. State in specific terms how and when the accident happened. Make sure that an official accident report is created as proof of your reporting. Get an acknowledged copy of the accident report for your records. If there is a standard procedure for filing a workplace injury, follow it.
3. Maintain a record of interactions with your employer and insurance company
Note down the date, time and points discussed with your employer or your employer’s insurance representative, along with a list of names of all those present during these meetings. Also keep a record of conversations with medical professionals who treated your injury.
4. Get medical care
Make sure you get the medical care you need. This might involve going to the hospital. Explain exactly how the injury occurred to your doctor. Let them know you were injured at work so that the doctor can record this information in the medical notes during your first visit. Follow your doctor’s instructions in taking care of your injury and keep up with follow up visits. If you are advised to rest and stay away from work, follow that advice
5. Keep a record of your expenses
This can help with your claim. Your record may include pay lost because of the accident, promotions and bonuses missed and any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by you. If you have documentation to support all these, even better. You’ll need it if you make a personal injury claim.
6. Use personal injury attorneys
Using personal injury attorneys you can count on should be your first call if you’re injured at work, especially if you believe it was due to negligence. They can help you not only structure your case, but make sure that you gain the best compensation you deserve and even escalate your case if necessary. This can help ensure that truly unnecessary injuries are properly attended to, and while they shouldn’t be used for a sense of personal closure or emotional help after a tough time, they can certainly help you close that chapter in the most dignified manner possible.
When you are injured at work, make sure you get the compensation you deserve.