When an employee suffers an accident resulting in injuries, it not only affects the injured worker, but it also impacts their family, their livelihood, their co-workers, and the company they work at. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million private industry workers were injured in 2019, and a total of 5,333 suffered a fatal injury. If you or a loved one recently suffered an accident at work, taking the right steps after the accident can make a significant difference in both their physical and financial recovery.
1. Seek medical attention
After suffering an accident at work, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t have any visible injuries, you may be suffering from hidden injuries such as a concussion or other injuries that if not treated on time could worsen.
2. Inform a supervisor about your accident
After an accident, it’s important to inform your manager or supervisor about what occurred. Many companies require employees to file an accident report and could be a requirement if you wish to receive worker’s compensation benefits. Informing a supervisor about an accident could also help prevent another one from happening. If the accident was caused by unsafe working conditions or procedures, they can make changes and improvements by using the information obtained from previous accidents.
3. Save all the evidence
After receiving medical care for your injuries, make sure you save all medical bills, insurance records, written accident reports, and other documentation related to your accident. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries. This evidence can all help support your claim for compensation if a negligent party caused the accident.
4. File a claim for workers compensation
Following an accident, workers’ compensation benefits could cover medical treatment, lost wages due to time away from work, and other losses. Each state has its own laws for workers’ compensation benefits, check your state’s regulations to learn what benefits you have a right to. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you cover the unexpected expenses caused by the accident. If your accident was caused by a third-party’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim against this negligent party.
5. Contact an attorney
You don’t have to go through this complicated legal process on your own. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine what benefits you are entitled to receive and pursue a lawsuit against a third party if this is applicable for your case. A legal team will be able to recover all the necessary evidence to support your claim, handle negotiations with the insurance companies, and fight for justice. This will leave you time to focus on your physical and psychological recovery.
Employers have a duty to provide safe work environments and have procedures in place to prevent an accident. If you believe your employer is violating OSHA’s health and safety regulations, you can file a complaint with the appropriate agency. Every worker has a right to work on machines that are safe, have the necessary protection equipment to avoid injuries, and receive safety and health training.