The common workplace injuries and accidents include cuts, lacerations, slips, falls, trips, crashes, collisions, inhaling toxic fumes, loud noise exposure, and being hit by tools, construction materials, and other falling objects. The extent of injury greatly affects recovery time. There are also other consequences such as lost wages or the inability to provide financial support to the worker’s family.
Workers who sustain injuries or accidents while on duty may run at risk of losing work hours because of the need to recover from their current physical condition. Injuries may range from minor wounds and cuts to major injuries like temporary loss of body part function or permanent disability due to amputation, brain damage, or spinal cord injury.
If you’ve encountered a workplace accident, it’s important to know what to do and how to protect your rights by reading below.
1. Talk To A Lawyer
Once you’re safe from harm and you received the appropriate medical attention, it’s important to talk to a lawyer from www.mitchelllawcorp.com and other firms immediately. A personal injury lawyer who’s an expert in workplace accident cases is knowledgeable and highly trained in helping clients receive the rightful amount of compensation for their damages.
Your lawyer will present the available legal options. In this way, you can choose the next course of action that’s favorable for you. Also, your workers’ compensation attorney can give you a rough estimate of how much you can get from your company’s insurance provider to cover your hospitalization and other medical expenses, as well as your lost wages and pain and suffering.
On the other hand, a lawyer may also help you in case the company’s insurance company denies your claim based on unreasonable grounds. Some common reasons why workers’ compensation is disapproved include not being a qualified employee, failure to notify your employer about the accident and the injury, missed filing deadline, or when they find that the injury wasn’t sustained at work.
Hence, if you’ve sustained a personal injury at work and you file a claim but have been denied due to any of these grounds, talking to a lawyer would help you move on to other options. They may still help you get the compensation you deserve.
2. Report Properly
Right after the incident, reporting to your immediate supervisor is crucial. You may need to collect evidence like photos and videos of your injuries, the cause of the problem, and other relevant scenes.
If you work outdoors or in the field, contact your supervisor immediately after the incident. If you can’t do it because of your injury, then ask someone to do it for you. In this way, your manager can report the incident the same day, which can be substantial in your claim.
But of course, there are instances when employees can’t report an incident right away such as the victim lost consciousness and woke up the next day. Hence, other workers should report the incident. But if the job is confined and a solo man’s job, then reporting can be delayed to prioritize the victim’s health and safety first.
Companies usually have standard operating procedures (SOPs) when it comes to incident reporting. That way, they can report all workplace incidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as soon as possible.
The OSHA requires employers to report any fatality in the workplace within 8 hours, including severe injuries, like loss of an eye, amputation, or hospitalization, within 24 hours. Employers must keep all records for at least five years. Furthermore, employees can also directly report to OSHA through its website.
3. Demand Just Compensation For Your Damages
If you got injured in an accident at work, the damages you can seek compensation for include your physical injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Physical injuries may include minor or major ones, such as spinal injury and permanent disability. For lost wages, it includes all days that you’re absent from work because of hospitalization and full recovery. Moreover, pain and suffering are more difficult to substantiate, but a personal injury lawyer can help navigate this aspect of the case.
You have the right to demand from your employer fair compensation for your damages, most especially if it’s not your fault. It’s the responsibility of your employer to ensure that the work area is safe from harmful chemicals, substances, and other safety hazards.
Workplace safety should be every employer’s top priority. If the workplace lacks the necessary safety gear and equipment or safety protocols, then there’s a high chance of the incident from happening to other workers. Therefore, the company can be held liable for damages. Your lawyer can help you determine every detail and evidence to prove your claim.
Aside from proper compensation, you have the right to demand being retained in your employment even after having permanent injuries, so long as you can perform your tasks. A good employer can assign you to a different department to reduce your workload.
4. Don’t Sign Anything Without Your Lawyer
Many employers and insurance companies trick employees into signing a narrative statement of the incident or similar declaration to protect themselves from liabilities. Don’t be a willing victim. If you fall into any of these tricks, you might end up not getting the right compensation or invalidating your claim.
If your employer or the insurance company asks you to sign something, make sure you know the content of the document. It’s much better to sign with the presence of your legal counsel. While your employer may seem to offer a very good deal, you just want to make sure that they’ll fulfill their promises following a legal process.
Your employer can’t force you to sign any paper against your will. If your employer harasses you or threatens you with losing your job, then report this to your lawyer. The law protects employees under the employment law or labor code, so make sure you’re aware of this.
Workplace injuries and accidents can change victims’ lives forever. They can lose their capacity to work because of permanent disability. So, if you suffer from a workplace injury, you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as you can to make sure you get the right compensation for your damages. Ascertain your rights and make sure to do the necessary steps such as prompt reporting of the incident to your supervisor to avoid your case from being dragged because of technicalities. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you navigate through your situation.