Nobody wants to get injured at work, and many employers across the nation go to great lengths to protect their workers and provide safe, secure working environments. Still, in spite of these efforts, around 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses were recorded in 2018 alone.
These injuries can include everything from pulled muscles to broken bones and even mental trauma too, and even if every effort has been made to keep a workplace as safe and low-risk as possible, the risk of injuries always exists.
If ever you find yourself injured at work, you may have a lot of questions about what to do next, and the ensuing matters can be quite complicated. Liability disputes can arise for a multitude of reasons when it comes to work-related injuries, and workers are often unsure of what action to take.
To best prepare yourself for any work-related injuries that might occur in the future, be sure to read through this guide and follow our top tips.
What Happens After Work-Related Injuries?
In most states, all employers need to have workers’ compensation insurance, but the specifics of this can vary from one state to the next. As long as your employer has this insurance and your case is covered by it, you’ll continue to have a portion of your regular wages paid out while you recover or receive treatment.
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim, you have to let your employer know about the incident that led to your injury and fill out a claims form. Your employer should provide this immediately, and it’s always wise to keep a copy of the form for yourself.
Unfortunately, some workers aren’t covered by this kind of compensation, and if your employer has been negligent, leading to your injury, you may want to take matters further, perhaps even all the way to a court case. However, if you accept workers’ compensation, your right to sue the employer goes away.
There can also be a range of complications that arise after an injury like this. For example, the company you work for may insist that you speak with their own physician, rather than your private doctor, or they might ask you to use your own insurance to cover the medical costs, rather than asking them to do so. They might even ask you to carry on working in some cases.
This is why it’s often recommended to get in touch with a lawyer after a work-related injury, in order to have all the advice you need to make the right decisions. A lawyer will outline your options based on the details of your case and help you identify the best course of action.
What If A Third Party Was Responsible?
There may be cases when someone other than your employer is responsible for an injury at work. The negligence or recklessness of a third party may have led to your injury, and there are many cases where this can occur.
For instance, if a company designed a defective piece of equipment you used at work, they may be held responsible for your injury. In this case, workers’ compensation isn’t really involved in the claim process, and you’ll need to get in touch with a lawyer to potentially prepare a civil lawsuit.
Top Tips For Work Injuries
Getting injured in any situation is stressful and worry-inducing, and it can be easy to make some mistakes in that post-injury period that could affect any claims you make later on. Here are some top tips to bear in mind if an injury does occur:
- Don’t Wait Too Long – Even if the injury seems relatively minor or doesn’t appear to hurt too much to begin with, you can’t really know how serious it is until you’ve gotten medical advice. Seek out medical help as quickly as possible and report the injury right away. Even if you don’t necessarily appear to be injured but were involved in an accident, report it. Symptoms might develop later on, so it’s vital to let your employer know what happened.
- Report The Injury In Full – This is another thing that many people tend to overlook: when reporting the injury, be sure to provide as much detail as possible and leave nothing unmentioned. For example, if you had a fall at work and hurt your head, as well as your wrist, be sure to mention both of these areas. Even if one of them feels quite minor compared to the other, it’s worth mentioning as it could get worse later on.
- Mention Previous Injuries When Making A Claim – When you contact an attorney or try to make a claim, be sure to mention any past injuries while doing so. Insurance companies might try to use these past injuries against you and potentially charge you with fraud if you’re claiming about an injury in an area that has already been hurt in the past. Mention everything and be totally honest about your medical history to avoid complications.
- Follow Medical Advice – In the aftermath of your injury, it’s vital to follow all medical advice to the letter. So, if your doctor recommends that you stop participating in physical activities or sports, be sure to do so. If you ignore this advice, not only do you run the risk of aggravating your injury and delaying your recovery, you may also harm your chances of making a successful claim.
Getting injured at work can be a stressful experience, and the most important priority in the immediate aftermath is to seek medical treatment and look after your health. Once that’s done, contacting an attorney is often the right course of action, as they’ll be able to provide you with the expert advice and assistance you need to make a claim and follow the proper procedure. Bear these tips in mind and take the right action if ever you get hurt while on the job.