Work injuries are unfortunate, yet somewhat common. In fact, over 4.6 million workers were injured in 2017 alone, equaling one injury every 7 seconds. The most common types of work injuries often include sprains, tears, strains, soreness, and cuts/lacerations, but work injuries can vary significantly.

After sustaining a work injury, you may feel overwhelmed, confused, and, well, in pain. Workers’ compensation laws differ from state to state and you may feel overwhelmed by the jargon. You may even consider filing a personal injury lawsuit if your work injury was caused by negligence. To learn more about what to do following an injury at your workplace, follow these four guidelines.

Seek Necessary Medical Attention

You should seek medical attention immediately following a workplace injury. If the injury is severe, visit the nearest emergency room. If the injury is not serious, you’ll need to follow your state’s rules about receiving medical care following a workplace accident.

You can ask your employer if the law requires you to see a particular treating doctor or if you have the freedom to choose one you prefer.

If your employer chooses your doctor, you may be entitled to a second professional opinion. Certain states’ workers’ compensation laws will cover another doctor visit for a second opinion on your injury.

Report the Incident

Notify your employer after a workplace accident. Informing your employer of a workplace accident as soon as possible, ideally within the same day, will help with the report’s accuracy, as details will be fresh in your mind.

If an accident occurs and you are not injured, it is still recommended to report the accident. According to workers’ compensation lawyers in San Bernardino, “To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker needs to file an injury report at work within 30 days of the incident. Sometimes symptoms of an injury can take days to manifest, so report your situation as soon as possible.”

In case an injury develops over time, documentation of the accident will already be on file. If no injury arises, your employer can still use that information to put safeguards to prevent injuries in the future!

File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Report

Your employer should provide the paperwork to file a workers’ compensation claim; you will need to complete the “employee section” and be as thorough and detailed as possible. Once the claim has been submitted, you should have an answer within 14 business days.

Ask for a copy of the claim and retain all important paperwork related to your workplace injury. Even gas receipts to and from treatment centers could be part of your claim!

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Professional

Workers’ compensation rules and laws differ from state to state, so it may be worthwhile to consult with a professional workers’ compensation attorney. Many workers’ comp lawyers offer free consultations and can help you explore your legal options. If your workplace injury was due to the negligence of another, you may also be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Working Through a Workplace Injury

Sustaining a work injury can be a very overwhelming. From the injury itself to medical appointments to filling out paperwork, a workplace injury may seem like more of a hassle than it’s worth. Using these 4 guidelines, you can be as prepared as possible to handle what comes following a workplace injury.