What To Do If You Sustain A Workplace Injury
Every industry has different hazards and dangers which can lead to accidents and injuries. There are some industries which are more hazardous than others, but even a simple desk job has a number of dangers such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) along with slips, trips and falls (the most common accident). In many cases, these injuries could be avoided with a few simple steps and it is important that you know how to react after an injury in order to protect yourself, stop anyone else from getting hurt and to hold those accountable. Read on to discover what you should do if you are injured at work.
Stop & Check The Injury
If the injury you have sustained is due to an accident, you need first to check yourself over and see if it is an injury that requires immediate medical attention. If there is anyone else involved, check them for injuries and make sure that they are safe. For any other type of injury, you need to stop what you are doing immediately and report the injury to your colleagues and manager.
Reporting To Your Employer
Following on from this, you need to notify your employer of the incident as soon as possible and follow your company’s accident reporting protocol. This will include reporting the time and date of the injury, the reason that it was sustained, the details of the injury and any witnesses. During this stage, it is best to avoid any kind of blame and instead focus on your health. Reporting the injury as soon as possible is important because it could prevent allegations down the line that you suffered the injury outside of the workplace – this is the most common reason for denial of workers’ compensation claims.
Secure The Area
If you are able to, secure the area so that nobody else can get hurt and so that you can keep the site as it was when you sustained the injury. Take photographs of the area where you sustained the injury and of the injury itself.
See A Doctor
Even if it is not a medical emergency, it is a smart move to see a doctor so that they can advise you on how to respond to the injury and also so that you can obtain a medical report (this could be important later on). Be sure to carefully listen to whatever the doctor says and follow any advice that they give you whether this is taking time off, taking medication and/or seeing a specialist.
Depending on what the doctor says, you may need to take time off work to recover from the injury and this could entitle you to sick pay or benefits if the injury is severe. This can be frustrating, but you could be entitled to compensation if the injury was due to the negligence of somebody else (more on this to come). At this point, you need to keep a diary full of your symptoms along with costs incurred as a result of the injury (travel, special equipment etc).
Creating An Account Of What Happened
Next, you need to create an account of what happened so that you can establish who was at fault for the injury. Creating an account will involve gathering photographs, taking photos if the injury has changed, drawing diagrams of what happened and obtaining any details from witnesses (crucial if you want to make a claim).
Making A Claim
If you discover that the injury was due to the negligence of somebody else, then you could be entitled to compensation. It is the responsibility of your employer to create a safe working environment so you may find that the injury was their fault whether this is because of faulty equipment or the fact that they do not provide adequate training or regular breaks. In order to make a claim, you should speak to personal injury specialists who will be able to get the ball rolling. You should speak to an injury lawyer as soon as possible after the injury as different injuries have different statutes of limitations.
Finding A Suitable Attorney
To obtain maximum compensation, you will want the right attorney taking on your case. You may find that your case is referred to an attorney with expertise in pre-lawsuit negotiation with the insurance company and lawsuits – read this article to find out more about navigating the process of switching attorneys.
During the litigation process, there will be questions made by both your lawyer to the defendant and vice versa. After this, a trial will commence where both parties will put forward their case, and the jury will then render a verdict.
The amount that you are entitled to will depend on a variety of factors, including if they were aggravated circumstances, the severity of the injury sustained, the medical expenses, time lost at work, scarring, etc. This will help the law firm to determine a fair value. You may find that the case is settled where it does not need to progress to court as the other party award compensation. While compensation will not turn back the clocks, it can be helpful in terms of covering various fees and helping to build a better quality of life (particularly if the injury interferes with your future quality of life). Additionally, it is helpful to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions as it could stop a similar injury from occurring in the future.
It is important that you know how to react if you sustain an injury at work so that you can look after yourself, protect other people and also get to the cause of the accident and hold those accountable. These are the main steps that you will need to take in the immediate aftermath and, if proven to be the fault of somebody else, these will help your case and allow you to seek maximum compensation. These injuries can be severe and could even stop you from working so it is key that you are able to receive compensation if it was not your fault.