Except you work at a dangerous job, a work injury is not something many people envisage. Yet, the statistics show that a significant number of Americans get injured while working, while some even lose their lives. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 5,333 fatal work injuries in 2019. That same year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 5,014 deaths from motorcycle accidents.
This shows that while your workplace might not seem like such a dangerous place, the chances are that you are as likely to have an accident at work as you are while riding a motorcycle. Consequently, you must learn what to do after a work accident. In the article below, we’ll look at some things you should do if you are involved in a workplace accident.
What to Do After a Work Injury
Most employers in the United States are required to get insurance for their workers against a potential work injury. This is called workers compensation. Under the provisions of this insurance, employers would pay employees who get injured or disabled while on the job. For example, in Georgia, an employer must provide workers’ compensation if they employ three or more people.
Employees also waive their right to sue the employer by accepting workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, workers’ compensation plans cover any medical fees incurred from a work injury. So, what do you do after sustaining a work injury while carrying out your job? Read on to find out.
Get Medical Attention
You must get medical attention as soon as you sustain a work injury. This would help you determine if it is a severe injury or not. If it is, the doctor will help you early on. However, depending on the nature of your injury, some injuries may not be immediately visible, and only an examination by medical personnel would reveal further injuries.
Some employers would want you to visit the medical personnel they choose, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, if you do not trust the doctor’s assessment recommended by your employer, you can get a second opinion. Sometimes, it could be that you are wrong, and there’s nothing to be worried about. Still, you must treat any injury with much urgency.
Report All Injuries
The only way your employer would be able to file for workers’ compensation is if they are aware of your injury. Therefore, you must inform them as soon as you discover that you have an injury. Also, report secondary injuries that occur as a result of the accident. Without doing this, you could be accused of workers’ compensation fraud if you try to report injuries later. It is also vital that injuries are reported on time. In some cases, employees could lose the right to obtain benefits if they wait longer than 30 days.
File an Accident Report
Regardless of whether you are injured or not, you must file an accident report as soon as it occurs. Unfortunately, there are times that injuries are discovered days or weeks after an accident has taken place. If there are no records of reporting such incidents, your employer could easily wiggle out of their responsibility towards you.
Considering some states have deadlines after which workers lose the right to report an accident, reporting one as soon as it happens would ensure that any unforeseen injuries are covered. In addition, it also helps your employer make the necessary changes to their safety policy and save others from harm.
Get Legal Representation
Since your employer provides you with a workers’ compensation plan, they may feel that your claim is ineligible for the compensation. This could be because they suspect that you were drunk or intoxicated before the accident. Legally, the burden of proof is on them to prove that you were responsible for the accident.
However, you need to get an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you. If your employers suggest that you are remotely accountable for your injuries, you can be sure that they will work with a legal team to substantiate their claim. Therefore, getting legal representation for yourself is a wise decision to make.
Get Access to Professional Medical Care at Georgia Injury Centers
If you’ve been injured at work, you’ll need to be examined by competent medical personnel. At Georgia Injury Centers, we hire experienced and competent medical professionals to treat our patients. In addition to providing our patients with professional care, we help them get compensation for their injuries. We do this through our partnerships with reputable law firms in the city. Visit us today to learn how we can serve you.