Many injured workers wonder what to do after getting hurt at work. This can involve everything from basic first aid to pursuing workers’ compensation. There are certain steps employees should follow in case of a workplace injury; delay not only impacts the viability of a workers’ comp claim, but could result in complications, disability or even death.
The whole sequence of events taking place after an injury can take weeks or even months. However, the first 24 hours are the most crucial.
Here’s a list of things you can do in this situation:
Prevention is better than cure. Basic first aid in the office and transportation to the hospital are crucial first steps. You should also familiarize yourself with your state’s workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible.
Examining the injury:
You might not know the extent of the injury, but you can examine it for complications; a fracture or excessive bleeding are pretty obvious symptoms to be avoided. This is why on-site first aid is so important: you and your coworkers can take the necessary first steps before you are transported to the hospital.
Don’t wait to go to the doctor:
Whether due to a lack of attention, a casual attitude or a lack of obvious symptoms, some workers refrain from going to the doctor. This is harmful not only to your health after the accident, but also your eligibility for benefits. Don’t delay your visit to a doctor unnecessarily, as it can result in lost time and less from workers’ compensation.
Draft a report:
After you have received medical aid, make sure you report the incident to your employer. While you are at it, don’t omit any detail, no matter how minor it is or unimportant it may seem.
Know the law:
Employees and employers are both subject to obligations when it comes to workers’ compensation, and these vary by state. If you are hurt at work, you need to follow the rules on receiving medical attention, reporting your injury and filing a claim. Experienced attorneys can provide assistance with filing a workers’ comp claim, which many workers find daunting.
The workers’ compensation system is designed to give workers recourse for on-the-job injuries without exposing employers to liability like they would be subject to in a personal injury lawsuit. Even though you aren’t suing your employer, your claim is still subject to the law. Knowing your workplace policies and state law will help you get the benefits you need when you are recovering from your injury.