Whether you work on a construction site or inside an air-conditioned office, you are always at risk of injury or disability. Occupational injuries can occur and many are caused by the lack of application of preventive measures.
However, the impact that a workplace injury has on an employee can be significant. In addition to the hospital bills they have to bear, they also suffer a loss of income and reduced quality of life if the accident results in disability.
The good news is that employees injured on the job can recover physically and financially from their ordeal. It’s just a matter of following these steps the moment you get injured at work.
1. Get immediate medical help
The first thing you will need to do is get treatment for the injury. Tell a co-worker or get help from your immediate supervisor. Even if it’s a small paper cut, your employer must provide medical assistance at any time. Aside from preventing the injury from getting worse, responding quickly to an injury can strengthen your claims.
2. Document your injuries
After the accident, you could spend several days in bed depending on the severity of your injuries. However, there are cases where signs of injury appear days or weeks later. This is often the case for employees who developed a post-traumatic stress disorder after a life-threatening accident.
Other cases such as mesothelioma (a type of cancer resulting from prolonged exposure to asbestos) could take years to develop. For this reason, consider your current physical condition and schedule regular checkups with a doctor. This way, you can document the full extent of your injuries and strengthen your claims for maximum benefit.
3. Workers’ compensation file
Employers must follow workers’ compensation laws with the goal of helping injured employees recover. After an on-premises accident, your employer should guide you in submitting the necessary documentation to complete the claims process. Although workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, these laws follow a no-fault system in which employers compensate injured employees through a workers’ compensation insurance company.
4. Get a workers’ compensation attorney
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you must follow the statute of limitations of the state in which the injury occurred. In most places, you only have two years to file a claim with your state’s workers’ compensation board. When that time period ends, you could end up giving up your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
It’s better sooner than later, so start the claims process immediately after your injury by asking a local workers’ compensation attorney to prepare your case. If you work in South Carolina, you can contact the Joye Law Firm for help filing your worker’s compensation claim and receive your benefits before time runs out.
Workplace accidents can happen at any time and some can take years before they begin to affect your health and well-being. By knowing what to do next, you’ll be on your way to a full recovery and a better life.