One of the primary responsibilities of an employer is to ensure that their workers remain safe while on the clock. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, serious injuries do occur in the workplace. When this happens to you, you should know what to do. The choices you make after a serious workplace injury can influence the path of the rest of your life.
Above all else on your list of concerns after being injured at work should be your own health and safety. Make sure your injury is properly treated. This may require having first aid applied on the site. It may require leaving and driving yourself to the emergency room at the local hospital.
When the injury is serious enough, this may also require calling 9-1-1 and waiting for EMTs to arrive to perform life-saving care. Whatever the case, your health, and life are more important than any other concern you may have.
You should act quickly or get others to act quickly on your behalf. Never wait when it comes to treating an injury. Doing so could make it much worse than it had to be.
Next on your list of concerns should be alerting your direct supervisor of your injury. This is important in regards to obtaining compensation through workers’ comp or some other means for your injury.
If you don’t alert the supervisor or the company, it may be assumed that you have fabricated the injury or that the source of the injury was something from outside of work. Your injury should be communicated via speech to your supervisor. However, this communication should exist in a written form as well.
You may, for example, have to write out a form and sign it. Try to obtain a copy of this form or any other relevant paperwork if you can. It can come in handy later if your employer tries to back out of paying your claim. According to the Department of Labor, many claims are denied by the state of Texas every year.
It’s important to also have evidence to back up your claims of how you were injured on the job site. After such an injury, don’t be afraid to take out your smartphone and begin snapping pictures of the scene of the accident and the injury on your body itself.
This can be vital to proving your injury occurred as you said it did. Don’t be afraid to ask co-workers who witnessed the injury to provide you with written testimony to back up your side of the story. When you go to the doctor, make sure to obtain copies of any relevant medical records that you can present as proof of how you were injured and when.
You should also communicate with an attorney. There could be a chance that your employer will try to deny your workers’ compensation claim. If that is the case, navigating through the legal process to obtain the money you deserve for your injury will not be easy.
You will need the knowledge, skills, and experience of a seasoned attorney who deals with cases concerning workplace injuries. Try to find a lawyer who specializes in these kinds of cases. You may also want to find an even more specific specialist beyond that criteria.
For example, if you are a Spanish speaker, you might search for “injured on the job Espanol” to seek out a bilingual attorney that commonly works with Spanish speakers regarding their workplace injury cases. Overall, try to find the best lawyer for your own personal situation.
Work with your lawyer on filing your claim for workers’ compensation. The forms needed to file for workers’ compensation should be supplied by your employer. Alert your employer that you are filing for workers’ comp and obtain the relevant forms.
Sign and date the forms, and hand over copies to your lawyer. Make sure to file quickly. You can do so by handing in the claim yourself or mailing it. If you mail it, implement certified mail as an extra precaution.
What happens next depends on the actions of your employer and their insurance company. If you run into problems, your lawyer should be able to help you.
Overall, while your employer may owe you compensation for a serious injury, obtaining that compensation may not be easy. Take steps such as obtaining evidence of your injury, properly reporting it, and working with an attorney to help increase your chances of success. You’ll be happy you did so.