Workplace injuries are more common than many people realize, and an injury can lead to lost income and a decreased quality of life. Some injuries have lasting effects, and others can even be permanent. Fortunately, there are several options to consider if you’ve faced an injury on the job, which can help you resume your life and receive compensation for both short- and long-term problems. Here are some of the steps to take when you’re injured.
Seek Medical Help Promptly
Your health should be your top priority if you’re injured on the job. Prompt medical care ensures you get the right diagnosis as quickly as possible, which can help you craft a plan for proceeding as effectively as possible. Furthermore, prompt treatment can prevent minor problems from becoming major problems. Repetitive strain injuries, for example, can become much worse if you try to work through the pain. Prompt medical care also shows that you’ve been vigilant about your health, which can be important should you run into legal disagreements with relevant parties.
File Your Injury Right Away
After dealing with any emergency considerations, make sure to file your injury right away. Laws vary by state, but most states have a short time period for filing injuries with your employer. Even if you don’t think you were injured in a particular incident, make sure to file a report. Should problems arise later, this filing will protect you. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for your employer to implement steps to prevent potentially dangerous situations in the future.
Report All Injuries
People who are injured often focus on the primary injury. However, the relatively minor injuries that occur in the incident might cause more problems in the future. If you hurt your right knee severely and experienced minor pain in your left ankle, for example, make sure to include this information in your report. It never hurts to include extra information, and being thorough shows your diligence.
Learn About Workers’ Compensation Laws
Again, laws vary by state, but most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides a venue for workers to seek compensation if they’re injured, but it also typically bars employees from filing lawsuits due to injuries. Unlike typical lawsuits involving injuries, workers’ compensation insurance generally doesn’t require the injured party to show that the employer was negligent, making the process of receiving compensation much simpler and predictable.
Speak With a Lawyer
Workers’ compensation laws were designed to make the legal process more seamless and transparent, making it easier for employees to navigate. Unfortunately, these laws are still complex, and insurance companies try to avoid paying out to victims of accidents whenever possible. As soon as possible, consult with a lawyer who has experience with workers’ compensation laws. Doing so ensures you’re handling the process the right way, and it lets you avoid common mistakes people who’ve been injured often make. In addition, having a lawyer sends a message to the insurance company that you intend to recoup the money you’re due rigorously.
Return to Work When You’re Able
A common mistake made by those who’ve been injured is failing to return to work once able. Your employer might offer you a position at a lower rate, but you most likely need to accept this position to avoid problems in the future. In particular, failing to make an attempt to return to work can be interpreted as a voluntary loss of income, which makes it more difficult to receive the money you’re due. Again, however, it’s important to speak with your lawyer, especially if you’re worried that you can’t take return to work or take on a new position.
An injury can be a life-changing event, and job injuries can be especially devastating. Although workers’ compensation insurance can provide some relief, navigating the process might be more difficult than your initially anticipated. Fortunately, there are experience lawyers with relevant experience who can help you recover.