Have you had an accident or an injury while on the job? Being caught up in a work-related injury can be one of the most stressful times in your entire life.
You’ll have many different people tugging you in different directions. It can be hard to know who to listen to and which steps to take in which order along the way.
However, the steps you take after your accident at work are very important. They can help or harm a potential case down the line. Be sure to read below for the exact steps to take after you’re injured at work.
1-Tend to Your Health
The number one priority after you’ve been injured at work should always be your health. There are both immediate and after-the-fact steps you need to take to make sure your health is being tended to.
First is doing all that you can to tend to your health as soon as the injury occurs. For example, if you sprained your ankle at work, then don’t continue to work on it. Inform your manager of what happened and go get some ice on it as quickly as possible.
The next step is to receive proper diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare professional. Depending on the injury, you might be taken to the hospital right away or instructed to go there on your own free will. Either way, make sure you do.
Not only will this help with your recovery, but it also plays a significant role in your overall case. If you’re planning to file a claim for workers’ compensation, then you’ll need documentation from doctors to settle for the right compensation amount.
Also, if you don’t immediately seek out medical treatment, the insurance company can use it against your case. They’ll claim that, since you didn’t get treatment right away, the injury isn’t as significant as you’re making it out to be.
2-Tell Your Coworkers and Manager
To provide substance to your case, you’ll need witnesses that were on the scene when the injury occurred. Most of the time, you’ll have a coworker or manager that saw the accident unfold.
However, if no one was around when it happened, then be sure to report the accident to your coworkers and manager right away. Even if they didn’t see it happen, they can attest to the story you told them that day.
Whatever you do, don’t let others instruct you on what you should do next. Many employers and managers might encourage you to “suck it up” and act like the injury never happened. They’re trying to protect themselves, not you.
That’s why it’s important to tell your coworkers what happened as well. They’ll be more inclined to tell the story from your point of view, rather than what the employer has told them to say.
Depending on what kind of workplace accident occurred, you may or may not be in the right state of mind to do this part. Some may find themselves in too deep a state of shock to think of what steps to take next.
Try to calm yourself down by taking a few deep breathes and thinking of what you need to do in the short term.
Start by gathering as many photos of the scene as possible. Any photos you use can be used as proof later on. Try taking pictures of your injury, the area where the accident occurred, machinery that led to the accident, the results of the accident, etc.
You’ll also want to open up the Notes app on your phone and write down as many details as you possibly can about what happened. This will help you remember the different details of what happened during the entirety of your case.
4-Hire an Attorney
Too many people make the mistake of going through the workers’ compensation process by themselves. By doing so, they miss out on receiving the amount that they deserve.
Think of it this way: going it alone means you’re pairing yourself up against an insurance company who is professionally trained to pay out as low compensation as possible, by any means necessary.
They’ll trick you into thinking that you’re receiving fair compensation when you might be entitled to a lot more. For that reason, you must get to experience on your side by hiring an attorney.
They will be able to see cases like construction accidents through to the end, giving you a step by step explanation of the process along the way.
5-Get a Pre-Settlement Loan
So… you’re prepared to wait it out for as long as possible to receive the compensation that you deserve. But how are you supposed to pay expensive medical bills for your injury in the meantime?
Pre-settlement funding can be a tremendous way to keep you and your family out of financial trouble while the settlement process goes on.
Better yet, if you lose your case, then you don’t own any of the loan back. You only need to pay it out after you receive compensation.
Approach Your Accident at Work with Caution
Now that you’ve seen how to properly handle your accident at work, be sure to follow each step of this process.
Start by tending to your injury to make sure it doesn’t lead to further complications down the line.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on workplace accidents, as well as many other helpful topics.