Taking prompt and appropriate action after a workplace injury can help protect your well-being and ensure you receive medical care and compensation.
Workers’ compensation laws and procedures can vary by jurisdiction, so following the specific guidelines and requirements in your state or country is essential.
Steps To Take After You Are Injured At Work
If you are injured at work, it’s essential to take the following steps:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Health and safety should be your top priority. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if the injury is severe or life-threatening. For less severe injuries, seek first aid or medical attention as needed.
- Notify Your Supervisor or Employer: Inform your supervisor, manager, or employer about the injury immediately. Be sure to follow your workplace’s specific procedures for reporting injuries. Request an incident report or accident report to document the details of the damage.
- Document the Incident: Record essential information about the injury, including how it happened, the date, time, and location. If there were any witnesses, gather their contact information. Documentation may be crucial for potential workers’ compensation claims.
- Receive Medical Treatment: Follow the recommendations of medical professionals. Attend all necessary medical appointments and comply with prescribed treatments and medications. Keep records of your medical visits and expenses.
- Report to Your Company’s Human Resources Department: If your workplace has a human resources department, report the injury. They can guide workers’ compensation procedures.
- File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if your injury requires medical treatment or results in time off work. File a workers’ compensation claim following your employer’s and state’s specific requirements.
- Follow Medical Restrictions: If your healthcare provider recommends restrictions or time off work, adhere to these guidelines. Returning to work too soon can worsen your condition and affect your eligibility for benefits.
- Maintain Records: Keep copies of all documentation related to the injury, including medical records, accident reports, correspondence with your employer and insurance carrier, and any other relevant paperwork.
- Stay Informed: Familiarize yourself with your state’s workers’ compensation laws and regulations. Knowing your worker compensation rights and responsibilities can help you navigate the process effectively.
What is Considered a Work Injury?
A work injury, also known as a workplace injury or occupational injury, is any injury or illness that occurs due to an individual’s employment or while performing their job duties. Work injuries can vary widely in nature and severity, but they generally fall into the following categories:
- Physical Injuries: These are injuries that result from accidents or incidents in the workplace. Examples include slips, trips, falls, machinery accidents, lifting injuries, and falls from heights.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: These injuries develop over time due to repetitive motions or tasks. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome from typing, tendonitis from repetitive lifting, and back injuries from heavy lifting.
- Occupational Illnesses: These are health conditions that result from exposure to hazardous substances or conditions at work. Examples include respiratory illnesses from exposure to toxic fumes and skin conditions from contact with harmful chemicals.
- Psychological or Emotional Injuries: Work-related stress, anxiety, and emotional injuries can also be considered work injuries. These can result from excessive workload, workplace harassment, or traumatic incidents on the job.
- Fatal Injuries: Tragically, some work injuries are fatal and result in the death of an employee. These can occur due to accidents, exposure to hazardous substances, or other workplace hazards.
What Damages Can I Pursue Through a Worker’s Compensation Claim?
Through a workers’ compensation settlement claim, injured employees can pursue the following types of damages and benefits:
- Medical Expenses: Workers’ compensation covers the cost of medical treatment related to the workplace injury or illness. This includes doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and other necessary medical services.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: If the injury or illness prevents the employee from working temporarily, they may be eligible for wage replacement benefits.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: In cases where the injury results in a permanent impairment or disability, the employee may receive compensation for the permanent loss of function or bodily impairment.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: In some cases, injured workers may require vocational rehabilitation services to help them retrain for a different job or career if they can no longer perform their previous job due to the injury.
- Death Benefits: If a work-related injury or illness leads to the death of an employee, their dependents, such as a spouse or children, may be eligible for death benefits, which typically include funeral expenses and financial support for the surviving family members.
Need Legal Help? Contact a worker’s compensation lawyer
If you encounter difficulties with your workers’ compensation claim or if your injury is severe, consult with a worker’s compensation attorney. They are experienced in workers’ compensation law and may ensure you understand your rights.