Accidents may happen anywhere, on roads, at home, or at work. Unlike the accidents happening on roads and in homes, the accidents at workplaces are those that demand your employer’s attention and your rights to seek compensation if you get injured due to the negligence of your employer in providing a safe and non-hazardous physical working environment.
The United States law, as it requires, the employees are entitled to receive medical care appropriate to a workplace injury and also compensation if there’s a disability arising out of a workplace accident. If an injury is caused due to an accident occurring outside of the workplace, then the employee is not entitled to receive any compensation but there are exceptions to the rule in which cases he/she may be eligible to receive the same.
With each state in the U.S. having its own compensation laws for workers, the amount of compensation, the duration for which it will be paid, and the circumstances under which it will be paid, will vary from state to state. This being known, one of the major bottlenecks in workers’ compensation system is the fear of retaliation from the employers on account of reporting about injuries to the personal injury attorney. Yet, for those workers who are interested in protecting their legal rights after a workplace injury must read this blog to remain aware and well-informed about workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Know After You Have Been Injured in a Workplace Accident?
Do Not be in a Hurry to Accept Liability
Some employees hurriedly accept their liability to an injury caused to them. This is because in those moments of anxiety when they get hurt and injured, they aren’t in a position to make a good decision. Later they realize it was somebody else’s fault but by that time, it is too late. If you do the same, know that this will hinder your chances of filing for workers’ compensation and then getting adequately compensated. Also, make sure you do not become a victim of ‘emotional pressure’ by anyone under any circumstance.
Report your Workplace Accident
It’s important that a notification is sent to your supervisor about your workplace accident as soon as possible in order to get covered under workers’ compensation laws. This is because most states have a deadline for reporting such an injury. Be it in written or electronic format, make sure you send the information as accurately as possible and receive a confirmation on the same from your superiors. The acknowledgment by the superiors will help you understand if your employer is taking the responsibility of workplace injury and if any legal proceeding is warranted. Reporting in time will help your employer too as he can bring up new safety measures in the workplace and prevent such injuries from happening in future. A follow up will also be required on such reporting to know if a workers’ compensation claim is filed by your employer.
Consult a Medical Specialist
If you are seriously injured in the workplace, you should immediately be seeing a doctor. If the injury is not of the severe kind, you should ask your manager if you should be visiting a doctor of his choice. By all means, under the workers’ compensation laws, you are entitled to visit a doctor of your choice, in case the doctor recommended by your employer doesn’t suit your preference. It will be better if you already have health insurance coverage as this will protect you in case of limited coverage provided by your employer under workers’ compensation laws. The second best thing that will happen to you once you see a medical specialist is your injuries can be assessed the recorded details of which will help you during a legal proceeding.
Collect Pieces of Evidence Related to your Workplace Injury
In the event of a workplace accident, if it’s possible to capture the images of anything that caused a personal injury, please be ready to do that. If you can have witnesses to provide their verbal or written statements, record those statements in audio, video or electronic format. Get their necessary details like names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses. If you have incurred any financial loss during your treatment, you must keep a written record of such losses. All of these will help you to get rightly compensated if you don’t adequately get covered under the workers’ compensation law.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney Before Filing a Claim
Even before you file a claim for workers’ compensation, you should consult a personal injury attorney who has sufficient experience in this area. This consultation is usually free and will help you get aware of the benefits you can receive. In case you feel that you haven’t been compensated adequately by your employer, your lawyer will help you decide what action to take. If it is required that you go ahead with a legal proceeding, you need not inform your employer. Your personal injury attorney would be the best person in this case to contact your employer.
Conditions Under Which a Workplace Injury Is Not Compensated
If you were intoxicated during the time when you suffered an injury at your workplace, you will not be covered under workers’ compensation laws. There have been instances when an employee was found to under drugs or alcohol at the time of workplace accident and therefore by law, it is also required by most of the employers to submit to drug tests before being hired for a job.
Along with the above knowledge, you should also take note of the fact that once you have filed for a claim, this is going to take time. Your personal injury attorney will have to wait before the Injuries Board submit their evaluation report of the injury and therefore you need to be patient while also completely trusting your attorney.
Any questions regarding the workers’ compensation or claims, contact us. We are personal injury attorneys from Tacoma City, Washington and we believe that every client is valuable for us.