What Should I Do if I Get Hurt at Work?
If you get hurt at work, there are several steps you should take to ensure you receive appropriate medical attention and protect your legal rights:
1. Notify your employer: Inform your supervisor or HR representative as soon as possible about the injury or illness, and the circumstances surrounding it.
2. Seek medical attention: Get medical treatment right away, even if you think the injury is minor. If the injury is serious, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
3. Document the incident: Write down the details of the incident, including the time, date, location, witnesses, and any equipment or machinery involved. Take photos if possible.
4. File a workers’ compensation claim: You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Contact your employer or workers’ compensation insurance carrier to file a claim.
5. Follow your doctor’s orders: Follow the instructions of your treating physician and attend all follow-up appointments. This will help you to recover as quickly as possible and avoid further injury.
6. Consult an attorney: If you have questions about your legal rights or need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, consider consulting an attorney with experience in workplace injuries.
Remember, it is your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment. If you are injured at work, you have legal rights and protections. Take steps to protect yourself and ensure you receive appropriate medical care and compensation.
The Two Types of Workplace Injury Claims: Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Personal Injury Claims.
Workers who are injured in the workplace are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of how the accident occurs (with some rare exceptions).
When a worker is injured in the workplace due to the negligence of someone other than the employer or a co-worker, that injured worker may also have a third-party personal injury claim against the negligent party in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation benefits are limited to payment of medical bills and a partial re-imbursement for lost wages, among other types of benefits.
Where there is a negligent third-party, the injured worker may bring a lawsuit for full compensation of economic damages like lost wages and medical bills, and also non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Construction accidents, slip and falls, accidents in buildings, and car/truck crashes that occur during the course of employment are examples of accidents that common include a third-party personal injury claim in addition to workers’ compensation.
Steps to Take Following a Workplace Accident
- Report the accident to your employer immediately. It is very important that you document where when and how the accident took place and whether there were any witnesses.
- Take photos if possible. A picture is worth a thousand words. It is important to capture the conditions at the scene before they are changed.
- Get medical treatment immediately. This is the only way to properly document you injuries. Do not listen to co-workers or managers who try to talk you out of getting medical help. Choose your own doctor. Don’t let your boss choose the doctor for you.
- Do not take cash instead of filing a proper worker’s compensation claim. Many employers will tell injured workers not to file the claim and in exchange they will pay full wages and give them cash for medical bills. However, after a few weeks when you realize the injuries are more serious than you thought, the employer will stop paying and now you are in the position of filing a late accident report after the conditions at the scene have changed.
Let Our Third-Generation Law Firm Dedicated to Helping Injured Workers help You and Your Family.
Tomkiel & Tomkiel have experience and proven success working in both workers’ compensation claims and in third-party personal injury claims. We have an in-house workers’ compensation department. You do not need to deal with two different law firms: we handle both cases in one law firm for your convenience. You have enough to deal with when you have been injured. We make it easy for you. We carefully examine all the facts and circumstance to identify all possible legal claims beyond workers’ compensation. Tomkiel & Tomkiel workplace accident lawyers will help you get the financial compensation you deserve after your accident.
With convenient offices in Yonkers and White Plains, we are nearby and just a phone call away. There is NO FEE unless we recover money for you. Call us today to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION about your legal rights and what to expect after a job injury.