Workplace injuries are more common than most people realize. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that 540 work-related injuries occur every hour. Obviously, some of those injuries are more extreme than others depending on the type of work you do.
But, it’s important to know exactly what to do if you get injured on the job or if something related to your job has caused you to become ill.
This is especially important since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Knowing your rights as an employee keep you safe and ensure that you’re taken care of, so you won’t have to worry about your injury or illness keeping you from having an income.
So, what are some of the first things you should do if you’re injured at work?
File an Accident Report Immediately
The worst thing you can do if you’re injured at work is to keep it to yourself. Even if the injury is minor, file a report. Talk to your employer or human resources professional about it immediately to make sure everyone is aware and on the same page.
When you file a report, you’re letting your employer know that you’re taking this injury seriously. They should respond accordingly by working with you to rectify the problem.
Talk to a Doctor
Immediately after you’ve talked to your employer, it’s a good idea to go to the hospital, or at least your doctor. Don’t wait for several days before seeking out medical attention. Again, even if the injuries are minor, you could be at risk for internal bleeding.
A doctor will also confirm the injuries. So, if you need to work things out with your employer, you will have a medical professional to back up your case.
Work With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
In many cases, getting injured on the job means your employer will pay for your medical expenses. Of course, that may not be the case if the accident was preventable and it was your fault. For instance, in situations where drugs or alcohol are involved or if warnings are clearly posted, you may be the one who caused the injury.
But, if it was a true accident that couldn’t be avoided, you could be entitled to payment. You should also find out how much is disability insurance, so you won’t go without some type of financial support while you get back on your feet.
If this outline seems simple, that’s because it should be. The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re injured at work is to be as transparent as possible. Be clear with your employer, with your fellow employees, and with any medical professionals you see. The more details you can give about what happened and how you got hurt, the easier the process will be for everyone involved.
Ideally, you and your employer will be able to reach a financial agreement without going to court or getting lawyers involved. But, if that does happen, having everything out in the open from the beginning will be a big benefit for you.