If one of your workers gets injured on the job, you should first ensure that the injury is handled promptly. If there is an emergency, dial 911 immediately. Following an accident, your employee may claim with your workers’ compensation insurance, also referred to as workers’ comp, to get critical benefits such as medical treatment coverage. If you are injured on the job, the following information will assist you in protecting your legal rights.
1. Consult a physician.
If you have sustained a workplace injury that requires rapid emergency medical treatment, your priority should be to seek assistance. You may seek treatment at the nearest emergency medical facility. Still, after the emergency is resolved, you must pick a follow-up physician in-network, out-of-network, or non-network with your employer’s workers’ compensation classification. If you are unclear if you are a member of a workers’ compensation health care network, you should inquire with your employer or search engine platforms about a workers’ compensation attorney. It is critical to get familiar with and comply with the stated Workers’ Compensation requirements; failing to do so may result in the loss of benefits. Please inform your doctor in detail about each of your injuries, including how you sustained them. Additionally, documentation is crucial. Maintain copies of any documents about your injury, from dates of doctor appointments and medical bills to days you missed work due to your ailment.
2. Notify your employer of your injury.
Inform your employer of your injuries and how they occurred as soon as you are physically capable. Along with a verbal report, submit a written or emailed notice to ensure that your notification is recorded definitively. Do not wait a day or two to see if the pain goes away on its own; you must notify your supervisor immediately to ensure that there is no mistake about when, where, and how your accident happened. Your boss should require you to file an incident report detailing the occurrence; obtain the form directly from him if he does not. Ensure that you retain copies of all submissions for your records.
3. Protect the Scene and Conduct an Investigation
Ensure that the accident site remains undisturbed and that all evidence is preserved until the accident can be properly examined. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises that companies examine all workplace accidents and near misses to ascertain the reason and avoid future incidents. OSHA even provides an employer handbook for accident investigation.
Take written comments from managers and employee witnesses and photographs if they may assist in illuminating the accident. Images are particularly beneficial when mechanical equipment is involved.
In rare instances, local law enforcement or OSHA may be compelled to conduct further investigations into the accident and injuries.
4. File a Report of an Accident
Numerous states have very strict deadlines for reporting an accident to be protected by workers’ compensation regulations. Consequently, you should report every mishap on the job in which you are involved, regardless of whether you feel you have been wounded.
Even if you walk away from the accident uninjured, your report may prompt your company to adopt new safety measures that will help avoid future injuries to you or another employee. Additionally, quickly completing an incident report protects you if you do not feel symptoms for weeks or even months after the injury.
5. Submitting a claim for personal injury
If you’ve been harmed at work and believe your employer is to blame, you may choose to pursue compensation. Any claim must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. You will almost always need to retain the services of a lawyer. If you are a member of a union, you may be eligible to use its legal services. Alternatively, you could see a personal injury attorney.
If you are contemplating suing your employer, keep in mind that the purpose of legal damages is to restore you to the position you would have been in had the accident not occurred – it is not about obtaining ‘free’ money. Additionally, there are court charges and legal fees to consider.
It’s important to remember that you typically do not require coverage for independent contractors hired by your business and that workers’ compensation does not cover personal injury claims that are not related to the employee’s employment.
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