The Next Steps to Take If You Get Injured on the Job

Make sure you know all of your legal rights so that you can handle the ramifications of a job site injury as stress-free as possible

The Next Steps to Take If You Get Injured on the Job

Interested in Safety?

Get Safety articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Safety + Get Alerts

Nobody intends to suffer an injury while on the job, but it happens. If severe enough, it could even require some hospitalization. 

If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know your rights and the next steps you should take. You may be the only person truly advocating for your best interests.

Report Your Injury Immediately

Your employer should know about the injury that occurred on the job, of course. If it occurred while carrying out your regular duties, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe that the accident was caused partly or in full because of another third party who was negligent, you need to have a thorough investigation of the accident scene carried out to verify whether or not this is accurate.

For example, there may be a defective product you were using that suddenly malfunctioned and left you dealing with serious consequences. This could mean that you are also eligible to file a third-party claim against the maker of that product. An accident report is your first opportunity to document what you remember. If other witnesses saw the accident happen, you’ll want to speak to them as well.

You have a short period of time in which to report a job injury to your boss if you want to receive workers’ compensation benefits. That is why you should report every accident on the job even if it’s not immediately clear that you’ve suffered a significant injury. Also, your report of an incident could cause your employer to put in place new safety measures that could help prevent future injuries.

Laws in every U.S. state except for Texas require the majority of employers to have workers’ compensation benefits. This means that by filing a workers’ compensation claim, you give up your right to sue an employer. In many cases, the employee can be paid even if their own negligence contributed to the injury.

However, there are certain situations in which injuries won’t be covered. If you were using drugs or intoxicated during the time of your job injury, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover workers’ compensation.

See Your Doctor

Even if you have been released from the hospital, you need to complete any necessary follow-up appointments. This is beneficial for your workers’ compensation claim as well as a personal injury claim. The other side may attempt to argue that you cannot have been that seriously injured if you did not go to your follow-up appointments or go through with any other doctor recommendations.

If you do intend to file a workers’ compensation claim, check to see if meetings with a specific doctor are required. If your employer chooses the doctor you must see, but you are not satisfied with his or her diagnosis or treatment plan, you can always get your own insight from a doctor you trust. Even if workers’ compensation won’t directly pay for you to see another doctor, it may be worth a second opinion.

If other injuries emerge down the road after your job site incident, you will want to report those to your doctor immediately. Some injuries may be difficult to detect and the pain that was supposed to subside after a couple of weeks may still be there. Keep your own notes from doctor appointments and get copies of your medical records. This information can be extremely important if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim against the responsible third party.

This can be an overwhelming and frustrating situation, so support from the right lawyer can also make a big difference in the outcome of a case. You should consider setting aside time to sit down with an attorney to verify what is in your best interests as soon as possible.

About the Author

Lombardi and Lombardi is an accident law firm serving clients throughout New Jersey. Visit www.lombardiandlombardi.com.



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.