You’ve been injured on the job and have no idea what you should do next. Your mind is likely baffled as you’re dealing with the physical pain of your injuries. However, it is important that you follow a specific procedure in order to exercise your rights and protect yourself as an employee. When someone has been injured in a work related accident, they are entitled to compensation for their injuries as well as any time lost. Most employers are legally responsible for having worker’s compensation insurance; however, that is not always enough.
Below are a few suggestions on what should be done to ensure you get the best compensation possible for the inconveniences this accident has caused.
File a Report with Your Employer
Whether you have visible injuries or not, you want to make sure that you go through the proper proceedings in filing an accident report with your employer. Many states have mandated short time periods in which individuals are allowed to report injuries and be covered under their employer’s workmen’s compensation. Therefore, the moment the accident occurs, or immediately following a doctor’s visit, be sure to write a report. Be as specific as possible stating what happened to cause the accident as this will be beneficial in filing your claim and for legal purposes should it reach that point.
Visit a Doctor
Again, even if your injuries do not appear to be significant, or you don’t believe you’ve been injured, it is a good idea to see a doctor right away to document the accident further. If necessary, visiting an emergency room is also an effective next step. Usually, employers have specific doctors that you’ll need to see in order to qualify for worker’s compensation. Be sure that you visit your own personal doctor as well as any specialists or doctors your employer recommends that you visit. This way you have two professional opinions on the matter. While visiting the doctor, be sure that you make them aware of any feelings of pain or discomfort, and also point out the part of your body that experienced the impact. Even if they don’t find anything at the time, there are instances in which injuries, pain, or discomfort happen a day or so later. By having all of this documented, you have a better chance at receiving compensation for your injuries.
Follow Up with Your Employer
Whether you’re out of work as a result of your injuries, or you’ve returned to the job after some time off, it is important that you follow up with your employer on the compensation claim with their insurance provider. It is solely the employer’s responsibility to file a claim as it pertains to the accident. However, you should do a follow up to ensure that they’re filing the claim in a timely fashion. If your employer needs follow up documents such as notices from your doctor or a copy of the accident report, be sure that you provide them with that information to speed up the process. Once they’ve filed the claim, you are legally entitled to have a copy of the claim for your personal records. Be sure to obtain one just in case you require legal representation.
Contact a Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Just to be on the safe side, it may be beneficial to consult with a personal injury or worker’s compensation attorney in regards to your workplace accident. A blog post found on seriousautoaccidents.com suggests that there are instances in which employers aren’t willing to pay a deserving amount to their employees. As such, there may be a chance that higher payouts for damages can be awarded to you. A personal injury attorney can review the accident report, medical reports, and assess which benefits you’re entitled to receive.
Tip when Hiring an Attorney: It is imperative that you don’t just hire any type of attorney when it comes to workplace injuries. In order to get the best legal defense and receive the best pay outs it is best that you work with a specialist lawyer who is familiar with the laws in your area.
When you’ve been injured in the workplace, there are a lot of steps that must be followed to ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages. Failing to follow the above recommended process could result in your claim being denied. If you suspect that you’re employer is not cooperating with you or that you’re not being compensated as you feel you deserve, talking with a reputable personal injury attorney is always the best and most effective solution. They have the legal know how to ensure that your rights are protected from beginning to end.