Suffering a workplace injury is scary. For a worker to get what they’re legally entitled to, a workplace injury must be carefully navigated. First and foremost, getting the proper medical care is the priority. Secondly, there are certain steps to take to ensure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to.
Your first action with any workplace injury is to report it. Ensure supervisors and management are aware of the incident. An employee certainly does not want to hide what happened to them. They should also not attempt to handle the injury without notifying the proper authorities.
Here is what you should do immediately after a workplace injury:
Get First Aid Immediately
In the same moment you are reporting an injury, ensure you receive first aid. If more medical attention is needed, do not wait. Go straight to the emergency room and see a healthcare professional on the day of the injury. Your employer should be assisting with any medical-related transportation.
Be sure to tell your doctor everything. Any sort of doctor’s appointment creates a record. Be open and honest with any medical professional you see. Let them know it’s a work-related injury. Tell them what happened and associated symptoms. Your medical consultation will also serve as a form of written documentation in seeking compensation and entitlements.
Hire a Lawyer
After a workplace injury, know your rights. You do not need to rush back to work if you do not believe it is optimum for your health. If you feel unsafe in any way upon returning, you have the right to refuse work. You can also refrain from tasks that could place your health in jeopardy. You shouldn’t feel penalized by your employer for your injury, nor should returning feel like it’s happening too quickly.
You may not think you’re entitled to anything for a workplace injury. Even so, if you’ve experienced a workplace injury, contact a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can ensure your employer’s actions are fair and legal. Injuries can worsen over time. If you’re entitled to compensation, it is your right to have that. A lawyer can inform you what the next steps are, advising you on your unique circumstances.
Document and Tell Your Employer
All injuries should be documented. If you did not need to take any time off work and your income hasn’t been impacted, there is no need to report an injury. However, your workplace injury may have resulted in you not being able to go to work. The damage may also cause you to get paid less or receive fewer shift hours. These all are situations where you want to report.
The more documentation you have, the better. You also want to notify your employer of any medical treatment you’ve received. Let them in on other information about injuries or illnesses sustained from the workplace incident. On their end, an employer will record what’s happened and hopefully be taking steps to ensure it doesn’t reoccur.
Keep a Daily Journal
You will want to document your interactions with any company or insurance representatives. Write down dates, times, and what was said. If it’s sent in a letter or email, hang onto this and any other correspondence pertaining to your workplace injury. You might choose to do this as well with any medical specialists or anyone you see as it relates to treatment or discussing your injury.
Post-workplace injury, start keeping a daily journal. In it, write down any pain or symptoms you might be feeling. This is to document what’s going on with you on a day-to-day basis. Symptoms can present days or weeks after a workplace injury that weren’t initially there. Estimating when and how these systems present isn’t as accurate or valuable as taking exact dates from a daily journal.
Follow Your Doctor’s Recommendations
A doctor is going to give instructions on what to do and how to recover. Follow their recommendations. Do not neglect follow-up appointments either. You do not want to give any indication you are turning down possible medical care or that your injury is not significant enough to warrant further treatment. Anything you are recommended or offered, don’t hesitate to take it. Any compensation claim can be tricky to argue if you, the victim, have not taken steps to rehabilitate. In addition, your employer should provide you with a copy of their injury or illness report. This will contain details of the workplace injury. Every employer is legally required to document a workplace injury in a report.