Injuries are never fun. They can cause lasting physical and emotional trauma and damage. In general, most injuries require a lot of forms and documentation to be filled out, especially if someone else was involved, such as in the instance of a car accident. However, all of these things only multiply when you’re injured at work. It can be an uncertain time, and just add stress to an already stressful situation. You’ll have to talk to a lot of people and likely have to fill in even more paperwork than usual. Besides all of that, you may be unsure of what steps you need to take. If that’s the case, keep reading. Even if you haven’t been inured at work, it never hurts to be prepared.
Seek medical attention
While your mind might instantly jump to any of the other things on this list that need to be done, they can wait. Getting proper medical attention, however, cannot. Even if you feel fine and have done up no obvious physical damage, it’s still a good idea to get yourself checked out. This will be necessary for all the paperwork we mentioned earlier. Besides that, it’s just generally a good idea. We often don’t realize if we’ve hurt anything until a few days later, because our bodies may be so in shock that we don’t notice the pain until we’ve calmed down. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be as obvious as others. As you can see, there is absolutely no scenario in which a doctor’s visit isn’t necessary. When it comes to your health, always err on the side of caution.
Get legal advice
No matter what your relationship with your employer is, legal advice is always recommended after a workplace accident. Professionals will be able to tell you all about your rights, as well as what legal steps you need to take in order to receive any compensation you might be viable for. It might also be beneficial to get a law firm specializing in personal injury cases. The team over at Kaufman & McPherson Law Firm recommends that you have a strong attorney at your side as your advocate, since workplace accidents can cause a lot of stress. Your employer may suggest that you settle things between you, but that’s not recommended, as you may get taken advantage of. Lawyers will also be able to go over your contract and ensure that your employers are sticking to what they’ve agreed to.
In order to be able to claim any compensation, you’ll need documentation of your injuries. You’ll need to either take pictures of your injuries or have someone do it for you. If you can, try to get pictures of any injuries or wounds directly after the incident took place, and then to slowly track the healing journey through pictures. Be sure that any damage to your body is shown clearly on all photos, and keep track of which photos were taken on which dates.
Just as you need to keep track of your injuries with photos, you’ll also need to keep track of any expenses, medical or otherwise, pertaining to the incident and your subsequent injuries. This will once again be invaluable when it comes to any claims you may have. Just be sure that you can back up any expenses that you put on the list. Keep any slips you may receive, as well as invoices.
Inform your superiors and fill out an injury report
As soon as you are able to do so, you need to inform your superiors of the accident that took place. If you can do this in writing, even better. They will then be able to forward all necessary paperwork that you need to fill out. Be sure to remain honest while you fill in any forms or reports, and to leave in as much detail as possible. This is for their benefit and safety as well as yours. You can get more information about injury and accident reports here.
If there was anyone who saw the incident occur, you should ask them if they’d be willing to give a witness report, and then have a third party take it. This will be helpful if there is any dispute as to what happened. Witness reports should be taken sooner rather than later, while the accident is still fresh in the witness’s mind. This will once again be a great addition to any documentation you plan on using for compensation claims. The more reports, the better.
Depending on the extent of your injury and the role the company had to play in it, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation refers to a type of insurance that aims to benefit both parties – you will receive either a lump sum or monthly payments in exchange for not holding your employers liable for your injuries. Sorry, but you’re going to have to fill out a lot of forms for this one. You also only have a certain period of time during which you can claim it. You’ll likely have a sit down with your lawyers and your superiors as well as their legal team and talk through all of the options until you settle on one that works best for everyone.
All injuries require rest in order to recover, and just because your injury took place at work doesn’t make it any different. Of course, you need to be mindful of any doctor’s advice while recovering. For example, if you’ve done up a concussion, you may need to monitor your sleep so that you don’t sleep for longer than is ideal. You may also want to get up and moving a little bit if your injuries allow it, in order to prevent your muscles from getting too stiff and sore. For the most part, though, you’re going to want to take it easy. Sleep is very important when it comes to aiding recovery.