When you commute to work, the last thing on your mind is sustaining an occupational injury. But the risk is always there and accidents do happen. Every year, about 2.9 million workers suffer non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses.
Fortunately, employers around the country have a legal responsibility to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which takes care of the lost wages and medical costs of workers injured in the line of duty.
As an employee, the steps you take after sustaining a work related injury will go a long way in ensuring you get proper health care, as well as the compensation you deserve. In this article, we’re describing these steps.
How Serious Is Your Injury?
The severity of your injury dictates what you should do next after getting injured on the job.
You see, it’s not uncommon to find freshly injured workers trying to take photos or record videos of the incident – all in the interest of preserving evidence which will come in handy when filing a compensation claim.
While this is not necessarily an unwise move, your health and safety should come first. If your injuries are severe, don’t worry about the evidence. Seek first aid immediately or call for an ambulance. Receiving urgent care after an injury can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a prolonged period on the doctor’s table.
Notify Your Superiors
If your injury isn’t severe -perhaps your sprained an ankle or suffered an allergic reaction – report the incident to your supervisor or boss, then go ahead and seek medical attention.
Get a Full Medical Assessment
In some ways, getting injured at work is different from getting injured at home or elsewhere. Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe and healthy working environment, so the fact that you sustained an injury at work potentially means someone is liable.
This is why you should ask for a full medical assessment when you get to the doctor. An injury may appear minor, but thorough assessment and testing can reveal major health complications.
Also, be sure to ask your doctor to classify the injury. He or she will determine the role your job played in causing your injuries and write a report. The report will be used to determine the extent to which your employer is liable.
Adhere to Your Treatment Plan
Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, the doctor will devise a treatment plan.
If you suffered a displaced fracture in the leg, for instance, the plan will typically involve setting the leg, immobilization, surgery, over-the-counter medication and therapy. Recovery takes about 8 weeks, but this may vary from patient to patient.
As you continue receiving treatment, ensure your doctor documents everything. You also have a duty to keep your copies of the treatment records.
File the Report with Your Employer
Once you’ve fully recovered, go back to your employer and file the report with the relevant department. Compensation procedures vary among employers, but any well-meaning employers will make it easy for you to get compensated.
However, if the employer is playing hardball or otherwise behaving in a way that suggests ill intention, hire a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Closing Thoughts on Work-Related Injuries
No matter how safe your workplace is or low-risk your job is, a work-related injury can happen to anyone. If it has happened to you, it’s normal for compensation matters to spring to mind first, but your health comes first.
If you’re in Houma, LA, and find yourself needing urgent care services, come or ask to be brought to Coastal Urgent Care of Houma, because we take pride in providing quality and convenient care when you need it.