There are over 1.5 billion people in the United States’ workforce. Whether you’re a teacher, a lorry driver, a doctor, or a waiter, your job is important. It provides safety and security for you and your loved ones, so staying safe and healthy a work is extremely important.
Unfortunately, every year more than 4.6 million accidents in the workplace occur every year and more than 5,000 of these are fatal. Even a non-fatal accident at work can leave you with serious injuries and mean that you are unable to work. They can also be extremely stressful and take a long time to recover from.
However, doing the right thing after a workplace accident can seriously improve your recovery. It can ensure you get proper support medically and financially. Want to know what you need to do after an injury at work?
Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out nine important steps you should take after being injured at work.
1. Seek Medical Help for Your Injuries
The most important thing to do after suffering from a workplace injury is seeking medical support. A doctor will be able to check you over to ensure you haven’t sustained a serious or life-threatening injury.
If your injuries are urgent, you should go to your nearest emergency department. Ideally, get a colleague to drive you or phone for an ambulance in an emergency.
For more minor injuries, make an appointment with your regular doctor. Make sure that you monitor how your injury progresses up until your appointment.
Seeing a doctor isn’t just about getting emergency help for your injuries, it is also about ensuring you make a full recovery. To do this you may need specialist support and an individualized treatment plan. For example, if you have back pain your doctor may refer you to a chiropractor or recommend that you use a TENS machine.
As well as seeing your regular doctor or an emergency doctor, you may also want to consider making an appointment with a workers’ comp doctor. These doctors specialize in workplace accidents and injuries.
Getting a medical report from a workers’ comp doctor can also be helpful for making an insurance claim for your workplace injury – more on this later! To make things easier, look for a workers’ comp doctor near you so that you can avoid traveling with your injury.
2. Report Your Accident at Work to Your Manager
It is important that you report your accident to your manager at work as soon as possible. There are several reasons for this.
If you have to take time off work because of your accident you should let them know this as soon as possible. Simply not showing up won’t put you in anyone’s good books and could look bad if you make an insurance claim.
If you are unable to get in touch with your boss yourself, ask someone that you trust to do it for you and check in to make sure they have done so.
When you report your accident, make sure you do this in writing (ideally via email) as well as over the phone. This ensures that there is a written record of your communication. If possible, you should try to report your accident within thirty days of it happening.
3. Inform Your Colleagues and Manager About Risks
Often accidents in the workplace happen for preventable reasons. Other times they may take place because of an unforeseeable risk in your working environment.
If this was the case in your workplace accident, make sure that you get in touch with your manager and colleagues about these risks. This ensures the safety of other people in your workplace and stops similar accidents from happening again.
It is a good idea to report these risks to your manager in writing and to let your colleagues know when you reported them. That way they can chase up your manager on any steps that need taking to make the workplace safe.
4. Record Your Accident in Your Workplace Log
Most workplaces have an accident log to keep a record of any incidents that take place. These include information such as:
- The date and time of an accident
- The names of any people involved or present
- What happened
- The injuries resulting from the accident
- Possible causes of the accident
These logs are important in the long run as they help employers to identify trends in workplace accidents. This information can help them to prevent further accidents in the future.
If you are unable to log the accident yourself straight away, ask your manager to do so in writing. Once you have recovered, you can check that they’ve done this by putting in an access report for the accident log.
5. Keep a Record of the Accident
Finding out what exactly happened during accidents at work is vital when it comes to making a claim for your injuries. You may want to get help from a trustworthy colleague to do this if you are suffering from a serious injury.
There are several things that can be very useful when it comes to collecting evidence about a workplace accident. These include:
- Getting video footage from CCTV cameras or smartphones
- Collecting photographs from before, during, or after an accident
- Getting eye witness accounts of the accident where possible
Where possible, try to get more than one eye witness account of your accident and ensure that all the accounts match up.
6. Keep a Log of Your Injuries
It is important to keep a note of any injuries that you sustain, no matter how minor they might be.
For this, you will need a medical report from a certified doctor. This will outline the extent of your injuries and your treatment plan. The treatment and recovery plan is important as it outlines the impact that your injuries will have throughout your life.
It is also a good idea to keep a diary of your symptoms and how they progress day-to-day. This can help a doctor if your injuries worsen over time or need re-diagnosing. However, it is also useful in a claim as a record of how your injuries impact your daily life.
You should also keep a note of any surgeries you have for your injuries and any medicines that you have to take.
7. Make a Note of Your Expenses or Losses
Your injuries aren’t the only thing you have to deal with following a workplace accident. In 2018, these kinds of injuries cost a total of $170.8 billion in lost wages, medical bills, and claims.
During your recovery, you may lose out on wages, especially if this takes a long time. You may also run up medical bills from your treatments and for any prescriptions you have. On top of this, you may find yourself running up interest on credit cards or loans that you cannot repay while you recover.
Whatever your losses or expenses from your injury, make sure you keep a note of these with receipts or links to online statements. These are all costs that you can claim for but keeping a record of your expenses is vital to do so.
8. Find Out if Your Employer Has Workers’ Comp Insurance
A lot of employers across America have something called workers’ comp insurance. This is a specialist kind of insurance that covers them for workplace accidents and injuries. If your employer has this is can be really helpful when you’re making a claim.
Essentially, it means that your employer will be more likely to pay out on a claim, as their insurance will cover the cost. To make a claim you need to:
- Report your accident within 30 days of it happening
- Be an employee of the company (rather than a contractor)
- Have an injury that is work-related
Using a workers’ comp doctor can also speed up your claim, as there will be less to dispute in your case. Make sure you use one who is approved by your workers’ comp insurer.
If your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance there’s no need to panic. You can still make a claim, however, it may involve a bit more to-ing and fro-ing with your employer. This is where an attorney can help.
9. Get Support from an Attorney
Getting an experienced workplace accident attorney on-side can also really help your claim. This also reduces the amount of stress on your shoulders.
They will be able to help you put together the strongest possible case. They’ll also help you to gather evidence to support your case and liaise with your employer for you. This means that you can focus your energy on getting better.
Get Help From a Workers’ Comp Doctor Today!
If you’ve had an accident at work, a successful claim for workers’ comp could help to support you financially while you recover from your injuiries. In that case, you will need an NYS authorized workers’ comp doctor to help you get well and support your claim.
Call (888) 590-4030 today to schedule an appointment with an experienced workers’ comp doctor near you. We’re here to help!
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