What to do After Work Injury
It’s the worst workday of your life. And you never saw it coming. Without warning, something unexpected happens on the job and you suffer a work-related injury.
Depending on how serious the injury is, you could experience anything from confusion and anxiety to fear and agonizing pain. In this state, how difficult do you think it is to handle this incident properly?
That’s why it’s vital that you know how to react to this situation before it happens to you. Here are the eight steps you should follow after you suffer an injury:
- Report the accident and your injuries to your supervisor. Make sure you call or visit your immediate supervisor (or someone else in authority) and inform him or her about what happened. This ensures that your employer was made aware of the incident in a timely manner.
- Seek medical attention. If you require emergency care, dial 911 and allow an ambulance to transport you to the nearest medical facility. If not, obtain the name of a designated doctor from your employer and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. (If you see your own doctor, you might not be reimbursed for those costs.)
- Tell the physician what happened. It’s important that you describe exactly how you were hurt, making sure to note that your injuries occurred during the course of your regular job duties. If the doctor doesn’t know it was a work-related injury, he or she may misfile the paperwork and delay your workers’ compensation claim.
- Follow your treatment plan carefully. If you are given prescriptions, fill them promptly and take the medication as needed. Be sure to undergo the proper tests and procedures ordered by your doctor, and to attend all physical therapy sessions that are scheduled.
- Adhere to any restrictions issued by your doctor. If you are told to remain in bed for a certain amount of time, do it. Avoid lifting excess weight if the doctor orders you to. And refrain from any activities or behaviors in which the physician has prohibited you from taking part.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. In many cases, when a worker is injured, he or she has trouble obtaining compensation for medical bills, time missed from work, and other related damages. Even if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, you should contact an experienced work injury attorney right away to protect your rights and help ensure that you can make the maximum financial recovery.
- File a formal report of your injuries within 30 days of the incident. Even though you may have verbally notified your supervisor previously, you must fill out whatever paperwork the company deems necessary in order to document the incident and your injuries.
- Agree to return to work when the doctor recommends it. You should do this even if you are given responsibility tasks which are different than what you were doing before the injury (for example, performing so-called “light duty” jobs). Otherwise, your workers’ compensation benefits may get cut off.
In short, the most important things you can do are 1. Take care of your health, and 2. Know your rights and how to protect them. Remember that even if your employer has workers’ compensation or another type of insurance, it is usually beneficial to consult with a qualified San Antonio work injury attorney.