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Did You Get Injured While Working? Here Are Some Useful Tips

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Work has its risks, but if you get injured on the job, you may be eligible for compensation for what happened. If you were injured at work, this article will explain what compensation you might be entitled to and how to get help if you need it. You will also understand the steps you need to take when looking for a qualified attorney to handle your case.

Workers' Compensation: What is it?

Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that covers employees when they suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It can also protect their dependents in the event of death. Employers and employees usually fund workers' comp insurance policies through payroll deductions made regularly. This type of insurance protects employees against certain risks, such as medical expenses and lost wages due to injury or sickness. But, it does not protect an employee against lawsuits, and the policy may not cover all types of injuries and illnesses.

Depending on the situation, you might need a lawyer to receive the total amount of compensation (more on that later). In some cases, your employer may assert that your accident was your fault, or your medical insurance might not pay all of your expenses, etc. In these cases, workers compensation lawyers will be able to help you. Your main objective should be to get better and return to work as soon as possible, but without the proper care, this can turn into years of lost income and poor health. 

Which workplace accidents are most common?

Many different types of workplace injuries can cause both the employer and the employee to lose valuable time and money. However, some accidents tend to be more common than others and include:

  • Tripping, falling, or slipping: These are arguably the most common and occur when proper cleanup or notice procedures are not in place.
  • Accidents involving vehicles: Those working with and around vehicles are at risk of all manner of long-term injury. 
  • Accidents involving machinery: People working in factories and heavy machinery are at a higher risk of injury. They usually occur if you do not receive the proper training, do not have the right PPE, or the machinery is not adequately protected.
  • Repetitive strain injuries: The most expensive occupational injuries are musculoskeletal problems. Back pain concerns alone cost businesses over $7 billion every year and result in over 100 million lost productivity.

After an accident, what should you do?

Accidents can occur at any time at the workplace, so getting prepared for how to file a workers' compensation claim is essential. So what should you do as a matter of urgency?

Report the accident

There should be an official accident book where you can report accidents at every workplace. If you can do so, the first thing you should do is log what has happened (after ensuring it is safe). Ignoring this step will make litigation significantly more complicated when the time comes to recover your costs.

Get witness statements

It might be prudent to gather statements of those who witnessed the accident in some cases. If your employer was negligent, you could use this information in court to prove that you were not at fault. Some of your colleagues might be unwilling to provide on-the-record statements for fear of losing their jobs, but you should attempt to get anonymous information at least.

Inform your healthcare provider

Once you are in hospital, you must let them know what happened and why it happened. It's critical to tell your doctor that your injury is work-related the first time you go to the hospital. Ensure your doctor writes down this information in your health records from the first appointment. Employers and workers' compensation insurance companies sometimes deny claims if the initial medical report does not identify the injury as work-related.

Log all of your expenses

Gathering data is one of the most critical aspects of successful litigation; therefore, you should make all efforts to log down all relevant expenses. This can include the cost of hiring taxis to take you to and from the hospital, fees involved with getting an official accident record, and almost anything that is, directly and indirectly, related to your injury. It is imperative to note all costs and keep all receipts that can be presented to a presiding judge when your day in court arrives. If you cannot prove your costs, a court may dismiss them, and you could lose out on a significant amount.

Record missed workdays in a diary

The days you miss from work as a result of your injuries must also be logged, as well as your ongoing costs. This will allow you to regain your lost income as part of your final compensation package. In addition, failing to note down your missed workdays adequately could lead to your case being dismissed.

Contact an attorney

While all of the previous steps are occurring, you should make efforts to get in contact with a personal injury lawyer specializing in workers comp cases. You can often book a free consultation that will get you up to speed. This consultation is also an excellent time to see if you have a case at all. Even though you don't want to hear that you don't have a chance, it can save you a lot of wasted time and money. Nevertheless, if you do have a case, they will inform you of what to expect from them and what you must provide for them to execute your case successfully. It would help if you chose a law firm that:

  • Has experience in workers' compensation claims.
  • Have a department dedicated to this subset of personal injury.
  • Can work with you directly and maintain communication throughout the process.
  • Inspires confidence.
  • Is clear, concise, and can speak to you without too much legal jargon.

If you have suffered an injury on the job, you may be able to collect compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Aside from gathering as much information about the accident as possible, a law firm can help you explore your options and determine the best course of action.

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