A workplace injury can happen to anyone at any time. It doesn't matter how careful you are, accidents will always occur. After a workplace injury happens, you may find yourself wondering "What do I do next?"
There are many questions surrounding workplace injuries. For example, should you report the accident to your employer? Should you file a workers' compensation claim? And what if you get hurt again while working?
This guide will answer these questions and help you understand what you can do after a workplace injury.
What is considered a work injury?
A workplace injury is defined as an unexpected event or condition that occurs during the course of employment. This includes situations such as slips, trips, falls, burns, cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures, amputations, and other types of physical damage.
What should you do after a workplace injury?
1. Report the Accident
The first step after any workplace injury is reporting the incident to your supervisor or manager. You should immediately notify your employer about the accident so they can begin their investigation.
2. Get Medical Attention
After you’ve reported the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might require immediate treatment at the scene of the accident.
3. Document What Happened
After you get medical attention, document everything that happened before, during, and after the accident. Make sure you note all information related to the accident, including:
• The date and time of the accident
• How many people were involved
• Where the accident occurred
• Whether anyone was injured
• Any witnesses
4. File a Claim With Workers' Compensation
Once you’ve documented everything that happened, file a claim with workers' compensation. This is the only way to ensure that you receive full benefits for your injury.
5. Seek Legal Help
If you believe that your employer has failed to pay you appropriate benefits, or if you feel that your employer did not properly investigate your injury, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
What should you expect from your employer?
A workplace injury can leave you with a lot of uncertainty — especially if you have a disability that can make it difficult to return to work. It’s comforting to know that even if you can no longer work your old job, it’s possible that your employer could be required to provide reasonable accommodations for you, as long as it does not cause them undue hardship. This means, that whether you’re returning to your old workplace or starting work somewhere new, your employer should find a reasonably relevant and accommodating position for you, as long as you can do the essential functions of your job.
For instance, your employer may need to adjust your work schedule, acquire modified equipment, or place you in a different position entirely depending on what your work restrictions are. In some cases, this may even include adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, policies, or providing qualified readers or interpreters.
Don’t let employers use your disability as an excuse not to accommodate you. If you’re having trouble with an employer who refuses to take your disability into consideration, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. It’s important to find out what your rights are when it comes to employment. Your injury shouldn’t prevent you from working.