If you're injured in an accident at work, you may be entitled to receive compensation. There are key elements, which will determine whether the incident falls under the umbrella of workman's comp coverage. To give yourself the best change of receiving your rightful compensation, follow these important steps.
- Report the Injury
As soon as you are hurt, try to report the injury to a supervisor. If you are hurt so seriously that you must be rushed to a medical facility, this is not going to be possible. Try to have someone document the date and exact time of the injury. When the injuries are not an emergency, you should notify your supervisor, then immediately proceed to seek medical attention.
- Seek Medical Attention
After you have reported the accident, you need to receive medical attention. Do not assume your injuries are not serious. Allow a medical professional to determine the severity of your injuries. This will make sure potentially dangerous health problems are treated and documented. As soon as you are hurt on the job, get medical attention immediately.
- Document the Incident
If you had to leave the scene of the accident, return as soon as possible to gather information. Unfortunately, if your injuries are serious this can be challenging. If you have coworkers who witnessed the incident, begin to compile names so they can be asked to give their eyewitness account of the incident. Do this immediately after the accident if you can.
As soon as possible, write out your explanation of what occurred, including your feelings as to what might have caused the accident. Be detailed, describing what happened as best you can recall. Include dates and times as precisely as you are able. Ask coworkers to help support any information about the accident that you cannot recall.
Pictures and video of the accident site can be extremely useful, if you need to defend your claim. In your written account of the accident, include dangerous conditions, potential safety violations, or malfunctioning equipment that may have contributed to your injury.
- Contact an Attorney
Sometimes companies will try to dispute injury claims by workers. After you have sought medical attention for any injuries, you should make contact with a work injury attorney, such as Gerald Lutkenhaus in the Richmond area. Some facilities provide attorney contact information to employees, while in other situations you may have to find your own representation. If you are hospitalized as the result of a work related injury, contact a lawyer before you file any paperwork, or sign anything.
Do not discuss the accident with a company representative, other than to report the facts as you recall them. Definitely, consult with an attorney before you file a worker's compensation claim. The company will have attorneys working them; you need expert counsel on your side as well. Try to speak with a lawyer before you make any statements about your accident to anyone.
Receiving compensation if you are hurt on the job is your right. To make sure you are able to receive rightful payment for your injuries, get medical attention, document the accident, and then protect your rights by consulting with a work related injury attorney.