5 Steps to Take if You Have Been Injured While Working
On average, each year over 2.5 million workers sustain workplace injuries so severe that they require an emergency room visit. Unfortunately, this means many Americans have to live through the pain and suffering of a serious injury.
If you’ve been injured while working, what can you do to protect yourself? You’re sure to be worried about your income and long-term health, so there are a few things you need to know.
To learn more, keep reading to find five steps to protect yourself after a workplace injury or accident.
- If You’re Injured While Working, Seek Immediate Medical Care
Have you been injured at work? If so, you need to get medical care right away.
Even if you think the injury is minor, it should always be diagnosed by a doctor. This is important for reporting purposes, for insurance, but it also ensures that you stay healthy.
Sometimes, we may feel ok, but internal injuries mean we might be injured more than we realize.
- Report the Accident to Your Employer
Next, always report any workplace injury to your employer. Legally, most companies are required to report serious accidents to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health.
They’ll also need to report it for insurance purposes. Plus, a responsible company will want to know about the accident out of care for the welfare of other staff and to prevent future accidents.
Generally, accidents will need to be put on file via a written report.
- Collect Evidence
In case of a serious accident, it’s helpful to gather statements from witnesses. Did any other staff or witnesses see the accident?
If the case happens to go to court, witnesses are essential for providing an unbiased account of what happened.
- File for Workers Compensation
If you’ve been injured on the job, due to no fault of your own, then you’re eligible for workers compensation. If successful, workers compensation will cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Should you no longer be able to work in your industry, due to your accident, you may also qualify for a lump sum, ensuring you aren’t left financially ruined from the accident.
Talk to your employer about the first steps in filing the paperwork for workers compensation.
- Work With Your Employer to Prevent Future Accidents
If you’re recovered and able to return to work, it’s helpful to work with your employer to prevent future accidents.
Can you create new safety policies that will prevent others from getting hurt at work? Companies have a responsibility to protect their staff, so help them by suggesting ways they can make the workplace safer.
Protect Yourself After an Accident With These Tips
If you’ve been injured while working, don’t panic—it will be ok. Using the advice above, you can look after both your health and financial wellbeing.
Remember that a workplace accident can be traumatic, so take the time to connect with loved ones, talk, and look after your mental health. Although it’s a challenging and painful process, you will get through it and life will go on.
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