While you're trying to earn a decent living, you could get into work accidents and get injured. The injuries could be life or career-threatening and should be attended to and compensated for fairly. Unfortunately, many employees miss out on the medical treatment and compensation they should get from a business after getting injured on duty.
Here are the five steps you should take after getting injured at work.
1. Report to Your Supervisor
Let your supervisor know about the injury and what led to it. Some state statutes require filing a formal written report with your supervisor, while others allow verbal reports. However, to be safe, you should always make a written report immediately after the accident. In most states, you have 20 days from the day of the accident to report your injury to your employer or supervisor. However, it's better to report on the same day before taking further action.
By reporting the accident to your supervisor, you have the right to invoke your rights for workers' compensation benefits. However, if you delay reporting the incident, you'll give the employer room to make a case against you.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Sometimes, work-related injuries need you to go into the emergency room. After reporting to your supervisor, they should direct you to the hospital of the company's choice. Out of the more than 6,210 hospitals in the country, your employer must have a hospital they trust to handle their employees if they get injured at work.
If you need to travel to the hospital, your employer's business is to cover the costs. If you travel on your own for more than 20 miles to the hospital, you'll be entitled to travel cost compensation. Make sure you go to the specified hospital. Your employer could refute your compensation claims if you don't follow their instructions. If you want a second opinion after you've seen the doctor, you can get one. However, you might have to pay for that from your pocket.
Before leaving the hospital, ask for a Health Professional Report to help you build your compensation claim.
3. Gather Evidence
If your injury is not too severe, gather the evidence before you leave the accident scene. If not, you need to compile everything about the accident while you recuperate. Here are some of the things you need to document.
- Where the accident happened
- The date and time
- What you were doing
- Names and contacts of witnesses
You should have a copy of the report you submitted to your supervisor. These will help you build a claim case.
4. Hire a Lawyer and File Your Claim
After you've gathered all the evidence, you should file a legal claim to be compensated for your injuries. You should also confirm that you're within the right working age to have a successful claim. The average retirement age is 63 years. If you're younger than that, you can make a successful claim. Workers' compensation should cover your costs as stipulated in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. However, you need to prove that your injuries are work-related.
Track all your expenses to get fair compensation. You should record the days you missed work because of the injuries you sustained. These should be paid for in replacement payments. Track all your medical costs and include them in your claim.
5. Prevent Future Accidents
Ensure you're safe from work-related injuries when you get back to work. You should wear protective gear and avoid risky situations. If you identify situations that could cause accidents, you should report them to your supervisor for them to be rectified.
Your employer should make it their business to ensure that you're safe at work. However, accidents are inevitable, and you may fall victim. If this happens to you, report to your supervisor, seek medical attention, gather evidence, and file your compensation claim. You should also avoid risky situations at work and ask supervisors to rectify possible risky situations.