Hurt at Work? Take These 5 Steps Next

Experiencing a serious injury in any situation is going to be a cause for concern, but when it is in the workplace it will be especially worrying. If this happens to you or a loved one, it is critical that you take the right steps not only to ensure you recover properly, but also to protect your legal rights. By taking the following steps, you will be protecting your rights to workman’s compensation benefits, and if necessary, to sue your employer for damages.

Get Any Needed Medical Care

The first and most important thing you should do is seek proper medical care. If it is a serious injury, this means going to the hospital (by ambulance if necessary) to be seen by an emergency doctor. Some people are reluctant to go to the hospital because of concerns related to the costs, but the medical costs will typically have to be paid by your employer or their insurance provider. Even if you aren’t certain that is the case, it is always best to get the medical care you need first and worry about the rest later.

Follow All Medical Directions

After seeing a doctor, make sure you follow their instructions carefully. This applies not only to the emergency room physician, but also any other medical professionals you see. If you fail to participate in physical therapy, for example, it may impact your ability to qualify for workman’s compensation or other benefits. On top of simply following the doctor’s orders, make sure you get written documentation of what they found was wrong with you and what treatments they prescribed. This documentation may be necessary should you have any trouble with filing for compensation.

File an Accident Report

As soon as you are able, go to your workplace and complete the proper accident report. If your employer doesn’t have an official accident report that you can fill out, simply write out a detailed explanation of the events that took place before, during, and after the injury. A copy of this, or the official report, should be provided to your supervisor, as well as any HR department that may be involved.

Get a Copy of the Accident Report

Whenever providing any type of documentation to your employer, make sure you get a copy of it for your records as well. If your employer is reluctant to give you a copy, keep the originals with you until you are able to make a copy yourself. Take care of this as quickly as possible, however, as you don’t want it to seem as if you are delaying the process.

Contact an Attorney

Even if you feel that everything is proceeding properly with your employer, it is a good idea to talk with your attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to look over your case and provide you with recommendations on how to best move forward. In many cases, this will simply mean applying for workman’s compensation benefits. In others, however, you may have to fight for what you are entitled to. Contact Attorney John M. Totten to speak with us and schedule a consultation right away.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.