If you incur an injury while working, follow these steps to ensure you get compensation:
- Seek medical attention – check yourself for any external injuries you may have. Go to the clinic and have yourself treated first. If the injuries are very severe, an ambulance may be necessary. Be sure to inform your supervisor or anyone else around that you need to excuse yourself for medical treatment. That way people are aware of where you are and what just happened.
- File a report – as soon as it’s possible, write a formal report to your workplace, dictating as many details as possible. The report should say where the incident happened, at what time, who was there, what caused it to happen, what injuries were sustained, and what medical treatment was sought afterwards. Keep a copy of this report.
- Speak to your employer – if your injuries are severe enough that they merit time off, let your employer know about this. They should be aware of any hazards your workplace has so that the same mistakes are not made. If your injuries are a result of your working conditions [i.e. overuse of a particular body part or being exposed to toxic chemicals], this must be stated. The worker’s compensation system and insurers heavily rely on your initial report, so be sure to disclose as many details as you can.
- Gather documentation – if there were any witnesses, collect their names and contact information in case there are any discrepancies between your report and your employer’s report. Be sure to have records of your accident report, medical reports, pictures (if applicable), and anything that can be related to the case.
- Follow-up on medical treatment – do not miss your medical appointments and be sure to keep records on this. If you miss your medical examinations your insurer might claim that your injuries are not as severe or that you no longer need coverage or benefits.
- Consult a lawyer if you have doubts – the insurance company will ask you to sign some forms in order to access your medical records. This is normally the procedure but be sure to check if the authorization is limited specifically to your work injury. They may also ask you to provide a tape recorded statement describing the accident. It is advisable to consult your lawyer before providing this statement to them.
By following these steps, you should be able to secure your worker’s compensation. However, if you feel your employer is not providing you the benefits you deserve or you’re unsure of what you’re doing, it’s best to contact a workers compensation lawyer to help you with your case in order to secure your compensation.