Did you know that we spend nearly a third of our adult lives at work? Well, although workplaces need to be conducive enough for work, anything can happen. Even with the well-known preventive measures, they happen from time to time and in some industries such as construction, workplace injuries are next to inevitable. They are especially common in workplaces with a considerable level of risks such as chemical, biological, and physical hazards to mention but a few.
From mild to severe, workplace accidents that lead to injuries happen all the time. Some of them are even fatal. But the thing is, only a fraction of employed individuals prepare for such eventualities. Most workers are completely in the dark on the procedures to follow when they get injured in workplaces. It’s so unfortunate that some employers will take this opportunity and turn it to their advantage. But knowledge is power, so they say. You really don’t want someone taking advantage of the benefits entitled to you after you’ve been injured at work, neither do you want all your efforts and years of dedicating yourself to them going down the drain. On this note, it’s a noble revelation that there are various ways to go about the situation after you've been injured at work.
Considering how painful, frustrating, and intimidating the aftermath of a workplace injury can be, you need all the advice you can get on how to handle the entire situation. If you, a colleague, or someone you know has been injured at work, here are some helpful pointers you want to read about how to handle a workplace injury.
1. Report Your Injury in Good Time
As an employee, it’s very important that when you get injured while on the job to ensure that you report your injuries to your employer in good timing. When reporting your workplace injury, it’s always in your best interest to do it in writing. This way, you have documented proof of the report. Different states may differ on how workplace injuries are supposed to be reported. Some may require a written report, while others may not. In addition to this, some states may require that you report within a given timeline while others are not specific. Nevertheless, reporting a workplace injury as soon as you possibly can will make a huge difference in your case.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Now, if you’ve severely injured in an accident at your workplace, it’s imperative to seek treatment. You’ll most likely receive first aid while at your workplace, but an examination from a professional medical practitioner will help to determine the severity of your injuries and get you the proper treatment. If you come from The Empire State, for instance, you’ll want to get medical attention from a renowned, state-recognized medical facility in NY city, Albany, Buffalo, Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester, or the best one near you.
Wherever you seek treatment, be sure to get a comprehensive doctor’s report. Bart D. Kaplan, a renowned New York Work injury lawyer with massive experience on personal injury law cases, says that having the doctor’s report will provide sufficient proof that indeed you received treatment from an injury at work. It will also provide details that are crucial in determining the value of benefits you ought to receive under workers’ compensation or personal injury law.
However, under the provisions laid out in different states, you may be allowed to receive treatment from your doctor or a specific doctor as suggested by your employer. Regardless of who you see, it’s imperative to keep all the medical records handy, including scans, test results, prescriptions, the overall doctor’s report, and so forth. In other words, you’ll definitely need them when filing for a workplace injury claim. So, if possible, request your doctor to provide you with all the copies of your visits.
3. File for a Workplace Claim
After receiving treatment, it’s important to file a workplace injury claim. If you’re injured at work due to the negligence of your employer, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This is a form of insurance that helps to cover for both permanent and temporary disability, medical expenses, and rehabilitation. The advantage of it is that it doesn’t really matter if the employer was directly at fault – so long as the injury happened while on the job, you’re are eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Nevertheless, you’ll need to follow a claim process that is usually as per your state’s regulations. On this note, it’s of at most important to file your workplace injury claim in good timing, preferably as soon as possible after the injury. This is because these claims usually have a deadline attached to them, which may vary from one state to the other.
One thing to note is that the process for filing a worker’s compensation claim can vary from one state to the other. While on the same note, some requirements such as reporting the injury to your employer and complying with state laws apply to all states. When presenting your concerns to your employer, it's important that you stick to the facts, know your rights, keep your cool, and remain discreet.
Now, after reporting your injuries to your employer, they should provide you with the necessary forms required when filing a worker’s compensation claim. Typically, it’s the responsibility of the employer to submit these forms to their insurance providers or the workers’ compensation scheme. But then again, you just have to be sure that they’ll indeed do this. This is why seeking legal council needs to be top of your top priority list after an injury at work.
4. Find an Attorney
Not every workplace injury will require you to file a workplace claim. But as we had earlier mentioned, some employers will want to take advantage of your situation even when the law requires them to take action. If your employer doesn’t seem to be interested in taking your concerns seriously, it’s important to lawyer up. An experienced personal injury attorney will help to push your claim as well as offer you the necessary legal advice.
If you're concerned about the costs of hiring a personal injury attorney, rest easy! Most, if not all personal injury attorneys will provide their services based on a contingency plan. This means that their charges will be deducted from the final settlement. The fact that they are willing to work on a contingency basis means that your chances of winning are higher. To find the best personal injury attorney, you’ll need to consider the following:
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After an injury at work, there are more than a few important things to consider. Once you report the workplace accident and get proper treatment, you can file a workplace injury claim with the help of an experienced legal practitioner in personal injury matters. Working with a good personal injury attorney will go a long way in ensuring that you get the best settlement you deserve.