Injured at Work? Here’s What you Need to do After a Work Injury
In an ideal world, without errors and mishaps, no one would ever worry about getting injured on the job. We’d all be working in completely safe environments, where everything goes as planned and accidents never happen. Unfortunately, the world we’re living in is anything but ideal and workplace injuries are more common than people imagine.
Despite all the precautions taken by employers to ensure the health and safety of their staff, there will always be risks and hazards associated with every job. Some jobs are more dangerous than others and work injuries happen on a daily basis.
Since risks can’t be entirely eliminated and we have to live with this reality, the best thing one could do is be prepared for the unexpected. That means you should know what to do in case you fall victim to a work accident, in order to get the support you need and minimize the damages. So here are the most important steps you should follow if such a situation ever occurs.
Seek immediate medical attention
Even if your injury doesn’t appear to be too serious or life threatening, the first thing you should do is seek medical care. In the heat of the moment, you might not even realize the seriousness of the situation, so your condition has to be assessed by a healthcare professional ASAP. If possible, go to the nearest emergency medical facility and get the care you require. If you can’t move, you should be attended by your workplace first-aider until the emergency services arrive.
Report the accident
After you’ve been properly treated and you’ve made sure you’re out of danger, you should report the accident to your supervisor or manager. Every company has a protocol for these events, so you should not delay the process and inform your employer about the injury you’ve suffered as soon as you are able to do so. If you fail to report the accident promptly and later file a claim to receive compensation for your injury, your request might be refused.
The last thing you’d want to do after you’ve been injured and you’re dealing with the consequences of the event is play the investigator and gather evidence about what happened. Yet collecting evidence and recording all the details about how the accident occurred will prove helpful when you decide to file a compensation claim. You must be your own advocate in these situations and make sure you’re covered in case anyone suggests you’re being dishonest or your employer refuses to acknowledge the accident or the circumstances in which it happened.
Keep track of your symptoms
Even though a doctor attended you right after the accident, this doesn’t guarantee they’ve made a complete record of the injuries you’ve suffered. Some injuries might have slipped their attention or it might take a while for certain symptoms to appear, so you should keep a diary where you keep track of every single injury and symptom you’ve had since the accident happened. The claim process can be lengthy and you might forget important aspects along the way, but if you put everything down on paper you’ll be able to retell your story in great detail no matter how much time it passed since then.
Get in touch with your GP
People usually receive medical attention right after the accident and then they never visit the doctor’s office again. While you may be making a good recovery on your own, it never hurts to stay in touch with your GP and let him know about your progress. Not seeking further medical attention can make the medical experts examining your case believe that your injuries weren’t that serious, and that will reduce the amount of compensation you’ll receive.
Record your expenses and damages
Just like you’re keeping track of your injuries and symptoms, you should also keep track of all the expenses and damages you had to deal with after the accident. The purpose of this action is to make sure the compensation you receive will cover for all the losses caused by the unfortunate event. It’s much easier to record expenses as they come, instead of doing the math after the bills and receipts have already piled up.
Learn about your rights
Whether you intend to seek compensation for a fractured leg, a sprained ankle, a back injury or any other type of medical problem that resulted from a work accident, you need to know your rights and find out what steps you have to follow when filing a compensation claim. You don’t have to become an expert in workers’ compensation law, but you do need to learn the basics so you can be able to defend your rights. Nowadays there are plenty of resources that will help you get educated on these matters and guide you in the right direction.
File a compensation claim
If you’ve decided you have a strong case and you deserve compensation for what happened to you, filing a claim is what you should do next. If you’ve taken all the steps we’ve mentioned previously, you’ll have all the information and documents you need to put everything in motion. Try to be as organized as possible, so you don’t forget or misplace important evidence that can help you prove your claim. Also, you should arm yourself with lots of patience, as these claims won’t get solved overnight and they can turn into an exhausting process.
Seek legal support
Unless you’re a professional, it’s impossible to know all the ins and outs of the legal system and navigating through the complicated compensation process can result extremely difficult. Also, if you jump into it on your own, you’ll risk making countless mistakes that will affect the final outcome. You can choose to make your life easier and the process much smoother by working with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer has the necessary knowledge and skills to represent your case and ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.