Injured at work
Regardless of your job, a workplace injury can occur. Whether you’re a manual laborer, an office worker, or a retail clerk, you could suffer from an injury at work. You may be able to seek compensation, receive time off, or even file legal charges, depending on how the injury occurred. If you’ve been hurt or injured at work, here’s what you should do.
Get Medical Help
First things first, you need to tend to your injury. First aid treatment should be applied at your work, but you may also need to visit a hospital or doctor’s office right away. In this case, your employer should pay for any travel costs. While seeking medical treatment, you should make sure to tell your doctor exactly what happened and any symptoms you are having.
Make sure the doctor properly documents your visit so that you will have a record of the accident. These documents will come in handy especially when trying to compile enough evidence for worker’s compensation claim and seeking reimbursement.
Figure Out The Cause of Your Injury
In the case of an accident, the cause of your injury will be clear. But there are many times where your work plays a significant role in an injury or illness that may develop over time, or not flare up until after the fact. For example, after lifting something heavy or twisting repeatedly you may experience ongoing back pain, or suffer breathing problems after years of working in a mine. You can also have your workplace trigger an existing health problem, like asthma attacks after breathing in chemicals at work.
Not all injuries are physical. You may suffer from traumatic mental stress or chronic stress and anxiety based on the experiences you have at work.
Notify Your Supervisor or Manager on Duty
Even if you have a minor injury, you should notify your supervisor or a direct superior. Your employer may have a protocol they need to follow in these situations, such as making sure you see a doctor right away.
You always want to make sure your accident or injury is properly documented right away so that you can prove it happened later. This is especially important if an injury starts to create a chronic ailment. You will want to have your initial incident documented (for example, falling off a ladder) in case it causes fourth health problems down the road (like chronic back pain after the fall).
Document Everything That Happened
Take detailed notes of the accident, your injury, and how your employer handled the situation. Include names of any witnesses, dates and times, and names of the doctor you visited, especially if it’s not your family doctor. Sometimes, your employer may try to deny that your injury occurred at, or because of, work. Keeping proper documentation of the incident will protect you in case you need to prove your injury with the Workplace Safety Board, or in a civil lawsuit.
Report The Injury
You may be able to claim worker’s compensation after your accident. These benefits can include wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, or rehabilitation. You should make sure your employer reported the accident to OSHA, as mandated, and you may want to report to the Department of Labor if you believe you are entitled to compensation.
If your employment is not covered by workers’ compensation, you may want to take your employer to court for payments. Select a personal injury attorney who can give you the correct legal advice to ensure you file your claims as soon as possible and can potentially recoup lost wages or other expenses.