What to Do If You’re Injured at Work
Workplace accidents happen daily across the United States – they add up to millions of injuries every year, and immeasurable pain and suffering to those involved. And although most of these injuries are minor, some can have severe or lethal consequences.
In most cases, a workplace injury is either:
- Acute traumatic (a one-time injury), or
- Cumulative traumatic (repetitive strain)
Either way, a workplace injury can result in lost wages, medical bills, as well as pain and mental suffering.
Although workplace injury laws vary by state, your employer is almost always responsible for your rehabilitation and covering a portion – if not all – of your lost wages.
Each local “Attorney Big Al” has years of experience helping injured workers to receive the compensation they deserve in situations like this.
Even though laws do vary by state, here are some good general guidelines to protect your rights if you ever happen to be hurt on the job.
Report the Injury
Report your injury to your immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Failing to report an injury in a timely fashion will always impact the compensation you are later able to claim.
If a company nurse is available, you may also wish to speak with him or her.
Put It in Writing
Whether it is a company accident report, or a letter you wrote stating the facts of what happened, get a signed copy of it from your supervisor for your personal records.
Speak to Your Union Representative
If you are part of a union, you should speak to the appropriate representative right away about what happened – he or she may be able to guide you further.
Keep Detailed Records
Whether it is a medical professional, your supervisor, your union representative, or your insurance agent, keep detailed records of every interaction you have pertaining to your workplace injury.
Include the date and time of each interaction and what was discussed. This also includes retaining receipts for any medical expenses resulting from your injury.
Seek Medical Attention
If you experienced an accident or injury on the job, seek medical attention right away – particularly if you experienced a severe injury.
In some states, you may be required to receive medical care through the doctor selected by your employer, although that is not always the case.
If, however, you work in a state that requires you to get medical care through a company-appointed doctor, do so. Failure to do so may impact any future legal claims that result from your injury.
Follow Medical Advice
Whether it is through a company doctor, or your own, follow all medical advice as closely as possible; otherwise, your employer may be able to later claim that you refused proper medical care.
If your doctor advises you against performing certain job functions due to your injury, get at least two copies of his or her directions in writing – keep one for yourself, and give one to your supervisor.
When to Consult with a Lawyer
In most cases, your employer will want to take appropriate care of you following a workplace injury; after all, it is in his or her best interests to avoid you taking legal action.
If, however, your employer fails to provide you with appropriate care following an injury, you may need to consult with a personal injury lawyer – such as your local “Attorney Big Al”.
If you feel that your employer is not providing you with effective medical care, nor willing to compensate you for care you acquired on your own, you may want to get an attorney involved.
Further, if your employer is insisting that you perform tasks prohibited by your doctor, you should also speak with a lawyer about your rights.
Most importantly, if an employer is refusing to pay you for time you missed due to an injury, or to cooperate in helping you receive benefits you are entitled to, you definitely need to speak with a lawyer right away.
Your local “Attorney Big Al” would be only too eager to help you get the compensation you deserve following a workplace injury or accident. Call 1-800-HURT-123 to get started.
Consultations are free, and you do not pay us until we have recovered money for you.