Employed in a field that is known for frequent injuries? Have an employer that plays fast and loose with health and safety regulations?
In either of these situations (or even if you think you’re safe), it is important that you know your rights should you end up getting hurt at work.
In this article, we will go over what you should do if you get injured on the job.
1) Before anything happens to you: read up on worker’s comp laws
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this before any injury has occurred, take it upon yourself to read up on the worker’s compensation laws in your jurisdiction.
Many states require employers to extend coverage to their employees for any injuries that occur on the job.
In exchange for this concession, they are granted immunity from most lawsuits. This means that if they were following the rules, and you get hurt due to unforeseen circumstances/covered reasons, you might be entitled to file a workers compensation claim, but you would not be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
However, if they were negligent in following workplace safety laws, you may have a case against them.
2) File an accident report
When you get hurt on the job, filing an accident report with your company’s health and safety department/manager is the first thing you need to do.
Don’t delay in completing this crucial step, as many states have a very short statute of limitations when it comes to worker’s comp eligibility.
Even if you think you’re okay, file a report anyway, as symptoms of an injury may take hours or days to manifest themselves.
3) See a doctor
After filing an accident report, see a doctor immediately, even if you feel okay. If something is wrong with you, you will need the input of medical experts to bolster your case.
More critically, your life could be at risk due to an unrecognized internal injury. Only a doctor can properly diagnose these conditions, so be sure to get checked out by an outpatient physician as soon as possible.
4) Get in touch with a labor lawyer
If the circumstances of your case point towards employer negligence, gather up all the evidence that you have acquired and get in touch with a personal injury lawyer.
You might think that this will cost you more than your time is worth, but most professionals in this business offer a free consultation.
In this meeting, they will determine whether you have a case that is worth pursuing; if they are confident that they have a strong case, the potential financial compensation is often worth the effort required to obtain a desirable verdict.
English not your first language? Often, there are injury lawyers in your community that are able to offer personal injury consultations in Spanish (such as abogadohasner.com), giving you the chance to fully express the details of your case in your mother tongue.