What to do if You’re Injured on the Job
The working world isn’t a dangerous place for most of us, especially with safety procedures in place to ensure that accidents are avoided. And yet, there may come a time when you are injured on the job (whether in the course of your work or otherwise). You may slip on a freshly waxed floor, fall while pulling a box off a high shelf, or even get in a car accident while running an errand for your boss. Or it could be something progressive like back pain from sitting at a desk all day (or lifting heavy objects), eye strain from staring at a monitor, or a repetitive movement injury that requires physical therapy. There are a variety of ways in which job-related injuries can occur, but the procedure for dealing with them is more or less the same. So if you find that you’ve be the victim of injury on the job, here are the steps you should take to address it.
For starters, you need to see a doctor. Even if you know what’s wrong and you think you can deal with it on your own, if you think there might be a problem, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you’ve had an incident such as a fall or other significant accident, you should take a trip to your local emergency room or urgent care the same day (preferably immediately following the incident). You should make a point of writing down the progression of events that led to the accident and everything you remember about it, as well as taking note of others that were present so that you can get their statements (in writing), as well. This is for legal purposes and it’s just good planning. For injuries that are ongoing or occur over the course of time, simply see your regular physician.
Once you have received a diagnosis, you need to inform your employer. If you have insurance that will cover your visit to the hospital and everything appears to be fine, this will likely be the end of the matter. If you don’t have insurance, you may ask your employer to pay the hospital bill. They will have to file a claim with worker’s compensation (state-mandated employer insurance) to cover the bill, so the sooner you inform them, the better. If your injury is severe enough that you require ongoing care such as surgery, physical therapy, and time off work, it is even more important that you inform your employer as soon as possible since it can take time to get the appropriate paperwork filed.
Worker’s comp will cover many of your costs while you recuperate, including medical bills, rehabilitation, and a portion of your salary. Of course, there are instances whereby you may not be covered, such as if you are injured while intoxicated, committing a crime, violating company policy, starting a fight, or if it is deemed that you were not on the job. But for the most part, if you follow the steps to appropriately address an injury or accident in the workplace (or while on the job), you can receive the benefits you are due, heal up, and get back to work.
Breana Orland writes for Chicago Accident Attorney. Our lawyers have experience with every type of personal injury and will fight to get you maximum compensation.