Every year, about 2.8% of the working population suffers an injury that requires medical care. Although this doesn’t seem significant, statistically speaking, a worker with a 40-year career is more than 75% likely to be injured at some point.
There are some industries that are significantly more (and less) dangerous, but on average, workers have a good chance of being injured eventually.
If you get hurt at work, your focus will probably be on getting better. In the meantime, you should take the following steps to ensure that you are taken care of properly and that you get back to normal as soon as possible.
Seek medical treatment
As soon as you get hurt, seek medical treatment. This is important because it’s the only way to make sure that your injuries are documented and assessed by a professional doctor. If you don’t seek medical attention right away, it can be harder to prove how serious your injuries were, and therefore, harder for your employer to compensate you for them later.
Get a doctor’s note stating that you were injured at work that outlines any necessary treatments. Ideally, this document should also include recommendations regarding what activities should be avoided until healing has occurred or is close enough to no longer be at risk of re-injury from those activities being resumed too soon (like lifting heavy objects).
Tell your supervisor or HR representative about the injury
If you get hurt at work, tell your supervisor or HR representative as soon as possible. They’ll help you figure out what to do next and make sure that you get compensated.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them to write down what happened in case there’s any dispute about what occurred. This can help prove that it was an accident and that it happened when and how you are claiming.
Finally, if possible, take photos of the scene where the accident took place to show proof of how serious the situation is and why compensation should be given out accordingly.
File for workers’ compensation.
Once you’ve made your work aware of the accident, file for workers’ compensation. It doesn’t matter if you are full-time, part-time, insured, or a seasonal worker. Every employee is entitled to workers’ compensation.
You can file the claim yourself or use an attorney. Most states allow injured workers to file their own claims with their employers’ insurance companies as long as they have all relevant documentation on hand. If things are really complicated, or if multiple doctors, therapists, and other parties are involved, it could be beneficial to hire an attorney.
Keep detailed notes about your medical care for your employer
You should keep a detailed record of your medical care and progress. Write down your doctors’ names, what they said and did, and how long it took to get an appointment. Also include information about medications you’re taking and any side effects. If you have health insurance or an HMO plan, keep track of when payments were made for each visit or procedure. Keep these records in one place where they can be found by anyone who might need them.
Nobody ever wants to get hurt at work, and hopefully, it never happens to you. But if it does, it is important that you take these steps to ensure that you are taken care of in the best way possible.