There are jobs you sign on for knowing that you will be facing hazards and dangerous situations frequently, like police or construction work. There are also jobs that you take on expecting a certain level of safety because of the low daily danger level, like banking or teaching. However, workplace injuries don’t discriminate and can happen any time, any place, completely unexpectedly.
If you have been injured in a work environment, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for losses like income or medical bills. Even former President Barack Obama addressed the importance of feeling confident that if you are injured at work, you will still be able to support your family. His quote, “If you work hard in America, you have the right to a safe workplace. And if you get hurt on the job, or become disabled or unemployed, you should still be able to keep food on the table,” is cited on many workplace break room display posters.
To get the compensation you deserve, there are a few things you should be aware of.
1. Don’t Delay, Seek Medical Treatment
Not only is this important for your health, it could be important for you if you later decide to file a worker’s compensation claim . The doctor will give you a diagnosis and treatment and you will be started on the way to recovery. Sometimes, however, the symptoms do not appear right away, so you should seek treatment anyway whether you feel you were injured or not.
2. Document, Document, Document!
Document the injury and the steps you took immediately following and report your incident to your human resources department or whoever is in charge of worker’s compensation. This step should take place no matter how small the incident may be, even if you don’t feel at the time that you need are injured. Remember, some symptoms may take weeks, months, or even years to appear.
3. Be Aware of the Time Limits
Documentation will help to a point, but only official documentation counts in the event of a claim. Depending on your state, there are deadlines that have to be met in order to file for worker’s compensation, like notifying your employer and submitting your claim. Getting workplace attorney assistance can help you determine if you have time or have passed the deadline to file.
4. Know Your Rights
Workplace laws differ state to state, but in general you have some basic rights. These can include the right to file for a claim for your injury in court, the right to seek medical treatment, the right to return to your job if you are released to do so by your doctor, and the right to disability compensation if you are out of work due to your injury.
5. Consider Seeking an Attorney to Help You
You may be entitled to other rights depending on your injury and your state. Consulting with a workplace attorney can help you determine if your case warrants filing a lawsuit for further compensation. Speaking with a reputable an attorney is always a good idea if you are unsure how to proceed with your claim or if you have any issues arising in your job or life as a result of your injury.
Workplace Injuries are Common, But Not Easy
Just because injuries can occur anywhere and are quite common does not make them easy to handle for the employer or employee. Each incident is unique, and each set of circumstances results in its own set of needs.
To determine if you are getting the compensation you deserve for your injury, do some research and speak to a reputable workplace attorney today.