Every year, right around 2.8 million people are injured at work. Some get hurt in slip and fall accidents, while others sustain concussions while they’re on the clock.
If you ever suffer an injury at work, you should not push yourself to continue working. Instead, you should take getting hurt at work very seriously and follow a series of steps to avoid making the situation worse than it already is.
You could put yourself at further risk by trying to work while you’re in pain. You could also potentially put your co-workers at risk if you keep working while you’re injured.
Keep reading to find out exactly what you should do in the aftermath of a work injury.
Let Your Boss Know You Were Injured at Work
When you’re injured at work, the very first thing you should do is track down your boss and let them know about your injury. If possible, give them a quick rundown of what happened and fill them in as far as what kind of injury you suffered.
In certain instances, they may choose to bring your company’s operations to a screeching halt so that they can address your injury. They may need to clean up the area in which you were working or take other steps to ensure other employees don’t get injured.
You don’t have to spend too much time talking to your boss about what took place. You’re going to need to file a more official work injury report later. But you should give them a heads up about your injury so that they know what’s going on.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Once you’ve alerted your boss about your injury, the next thing you’ll want to do is seek medical attention for it. Even if you feel fine and don’t think you suffered a major injury, it’s better to be safe than sorry since any adrenaline coursing through your system could mask your injury symptoms.
If you suffered a bad injury that requires immediate medical care, your best bet will be to take a trip to the emergency room at your local hospital. Otherwise, you can probably get away with going to see your primary doctor to have them evaluate you and diagnose you with an injury.
Tell Your Doctor You Suffered a Work Injury
Regardless of whether you visit the ER or your primary doctor to get treatment for your work injury, you should let the doctor who treats you know that you were hurt at work. You should also ask them if they’re one of the doctors who accept workers’ compensation insurance.
Insurance claims that are made due to work injuries can get complicated. Often times, health insurance companies and workers’ compensation companies will get into arguments over who should cover the medical costs associated with work injuries.
By letting your doctor know that you were hurt at work, you’ll ensure that there isn’t any confusion later over what caused your injury. A workers’ compensation company won’t be able to dispute the fact that you were treated for a work-related injury when you specifically ask for it to be noted in your treatment forms.
File an Official Injury Report With Your Company
After you’ve received the proper medical attention for your work injury, you can go back and visit your employer to talk to them more about what happened when you were hurt. It’s going to be important for you to have an official injury report on the record if you plan on trying to collect workers’ compensation in the near future.
Your company likely has someone who is in charge of talking with employees about any injuries they suffer at work. Sit down with them for about an hour and walk them through what took place just prior to your injury.
They will ask you a bunch of questions about the incident in question to clear up what happened. They will then usually launch an investigation into the accident and speak with other people about what they saw when you got hurt.
Consider Taking Time Off From Work
A lot of the people who get hurt while at work are concerned about how it’s going to affect their finances. They ask themselves the question, “If I get hurt at work, do I get paid?” And they vow to get right back to work to avoid losing any money as a result of their work injury.
You might be in a rush to get back to it following your injury. But you should think long and hard about taking some time off before you climb back into the saddle and begin working again.
You should, first and foremost, do this so that you give your body the time it needs to heal. You should also do it so that you don’t end up reinjuring yourself by throwing yourself back into your work.
And outside of those reasons, you should also take time off so that you can sort out your workers’ compensation situation if you feel as though you should be entitled to collect money for any work you’ve already missed. You could hurt your own case by going back to work too soon before allowing your workers’ comp situation to play out.
Keep Track of Everything You Do on Your Days Off
If you make the decision to take time off following a work injury, you should document everything that you do on those days. You should keep track of any doctor’s appointments you have and make a note of any expenses you incur due to your injury.
If you’re only out of work for a few days, you might be able to remember everything without writing it down. But if you end up sidelined for weeks or even months, it’s going to be much tougher to keep track of everything.
Start a journal that you dedicate solely to tracking the aftermath of your work injury. It could very well come in handy at some point down the line.
Speak With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Trying to work your way through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim can be long and arduous. Plus, if you’ve never done it before, you might not have the slightest clue as far as where to start.
If you suspect that you might have a workers’ comp case on your hands, it’s a good idea to seek the services of a lawyer in your area. You should try to track one down that specializes in taking on workers’ comp cases.
They can provide you with the advice that you need to decide whether or not to move forward with a workers’ comp case. They can also tell you if your company might be responsible for the injury that you sustained while you were on the job.
Most workers’ comp lawyers will be more than happy to offer you a free consultation and provide you with their professional opinion. Take advantage of this by scheduling a meeting with one today.
Refuse to Return to Work Until You’re Healed
As we mentioned earlier, there is a chance that you could end up missing months after getting hurt at work. It all depends on what kind of injury you sustain and how fast it heals.
You should not go back to work at any point if you and your doctor don’t feel as though you’re healed. Your employer might try to pressure you into coming back, but you could put yourself into a precarious position by doing it.
Stay in touch with your workers’ comp lawyer and talk to them about how you should proceed if you feel like your injury might be compromising your job in any way. They can talk to you about what options you might have based on your specific case and guide you in the right direction.
But whatever you do, you don’t want to head back to work too soon and aggravate your original injury. It could complicate your workers’ comp case even further and put you back to square one.
If You’re Ever Injured at Work, Make Sure You Follow These Steps
Getting injured at work will throw your life into turmoil for a number of different reasons.
For starters, it’ll make you wonder whether or not you’re going to continue to get paid by your employer. It’ll also make you wonder if you’re going to be able to return to your job after an extended absence from work.
And of course, it’ll also make you wonder how bad your injury is and if it’ll ever heal fully. A work injury can cause you to suffer from a lot of mental and emotional stress in the weeks and months following your injury.
Make sure you follow the steps laid out here to make the situation easier on yourself. And if you’re ever worried about what’s going to happen next, lean on your workers’ comp lawyer for support.
Find out more about the workers’ comp process by reading the informative articles on our blog.