No one wants to worry about getting injured on the job. Unfortunately, due to the environment of the workplace or the nature of the work itself, injuries do occur.
What should you do when It happens? The next steps you take are absolutely critical to look after yourself both health wise and financially. While you might think that your company is looking out for you and will take the necessary steps to help you out, this might not be true. Normally workplace injuries occur due to the fault of the employer. Therefore, they will try to hurry up your case in order to get it out of the way as soon as possible. They are scared at the actions you might take and while they may seem concerned about you when they offer benefits, they are only doing it because they are legally obligated to do so. Most companies will only look out for themselves when you get injured on the job, therefore you have to know what to do, as they won’t help you with the next steps.
Here are five ways to get through and handle your work-related injury.
1. Report Your Injury
Depending on the severity of the injury when you get hurt, you might have to go to the hospital or doctor and therefore not have the time to report it instantly. However, if you are able to report it as soon as it happens, ensure that you can do so as it gets the paperwork trail starting instantly. If a hospital visit is necessary, it is normally okay to report your injury within 24 hours of it occurring. Any longer than that and you seek the company trying to dismiss your case. This is the first step towards the process of dealing with an injury and already you will see the company trying to sneak their way through it all. Make sure you report your injury promptly so the company cannot make a case about you taking too long to report.
2. Get the Necessary Health Care and Inform Them It Was Work Related
It is strongly recommended that you go to a health care provider when you are involved in a work-related injury. Even if you do not think the injury is that serious, by going to a health care provider you can not only ensure that you are okay, but that there is now medical paperwork pertaining to your injury. Make sure that you also tell them that this injury occurred at your place of work, as they will start filling out other forms to help you file for worker’s compensation. The doctors will also give you advice about returning to work and how severe the injury is. Don’t gamble on your own health. You might feel fine in the hours after the injury, but some symptoms don’t manifest themselves until days after, and at that point, time is no longer your friend. Get yourself into a doctor and let them know you’ve had a work-related injury.
3. Present a Written Form to Your Employer
After all that has been done, fill out a legal form regarding the injury and give it to your employer. Create a copy for yourself as well so that the company cannot ‘misplace’ this form. Once again, this continues the paperwork trail and will help keep a record of everything that occurred when the injury happened, and the steps that preceded the injury as well. Fill out your form to help push along your work related injury.
4. Keep a Journal of Missed Time and Expenses
If you are forced to take time off due to the injury, it is a good idea to document and log all of this. By logging all missed time, yourself, your company cannot turn and say that you missed absolutely no time at work. Along with logging missed time, keep track of all the medical expenses you incurred, along with the expenses you incurred travelling to get your care. These are expenses you would not have had; had you not been injured at work. Therefore, keep track of these as you can receive compensation for them.
5. Contact A Lawyer
The final step towards dealing with your work-related injury is hiring a lawyer. Remember that paper trail that you have been keeping? Your lawyer will be able to take it and use it in your case to get you compensation. If the injury sustained is serious, you might need a lawyer to represent you as you fight the company. They will work to collect all the evidence that you gathered and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Giving in your journal of expenses and missed time as well will help them to get you reimbursed for whatever medical costs the injury cost you. Contacting a lawyer is the final step towards getting through your work-related injury.
An injury at work does not have to be your financial downfall. While there might be a ton of stress and frustration related to the injury itself, it is important that you work to protect yourself and get yourself the compensation you deserve. Be timely in your reports and log all important information so that when you finally hire a lawyer, they have all the necessary information to fight for you in this case. Don’t let a company bully you around, stand up for yourself.