No one ever expects to find themselves in a workplace accident, but there are over 2.8 million reported each year. Still, if they have never happened to you, then you may not know the steps you need to take to ensure your injuries are taken care of, and your financial situation isn’t affected. Immediately after an accident in the workplace, consider taking these six steps below.
Even before you start considering workers’ compensation after surgery, it’s crucial to get help straight away. A medical professional can determine how severe your injuries are, what treatment you require, and whether or not you may need surgery. At this stage, your doctor will also be taking notes to form a Health Professionals Report, which can form part of your claim for workers’ compensation.
Inform Your Supervisor
Immediately after your accident or incident has occurred, alert your supervisor or someone in charge of your site. Tell them you were injured, and they can help you navigate each step that can be required for reporting the incident. If you have noticed any safety concerns leading to your accident that may require improvement to prevent further accidents, alert them to these.
Fill Out an Incident Report
While the accident is still fresh in your mind, fill out an incident report. Depending on your state, there may be a deadline that the form must be filled out for you to qualify for the full benefits of workers’ compensation. Some states allow up to 30 days to report an accident, while some have a window of as little as four days or simply state ‘as soon as possible.’ You then have between one and three years, depending on the state, to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Keep Thorough Records
From the time you are able, start taking notes about your injury, the accident, and all details pertaining to it. This might include the day and time, what you were doing, any witnesses, and what you believe caused the accident. The more information you have, the stronger your case may be.
Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim
As soon as possible after your accident at work, make a workers’ compensation claim. This claim can include all the costs associated with your injuries and pain, such as missed work, medical bills, treatments like surgery, and more. This is where your record keeping skills will be helpful. The information outlined in your records may determine your settlement amount.
Hire a Lawyer
The legal world of workers’ compensation claims can be challenging to navigate, particularly if you are being pressured to sign off on a settlement amount even before your treatments are finalized. There is also a genuine risk that receiving workers’ compensation settlements after surgery can result in some costs not being covered if you sign a Section 32 waiver. You may be able to save a significant amount of stress and get the compensation you deserve by letting a lawyer guide you through the process.
If you have never been involved in a workplace accident before, the steps you need to take may not be clear. Alongside making sure you receive medical assistance and informing your supervisor, talking to a lawyer may also provide some clarity. They can do their best to make sure your injuries don’t result in significant financial hardship.