What You Should Do If You Are Hurt At Work - Cheerless wounded man looking at his injury

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you are injured while at work, you should take steps to ensure that you are protected. Some employers encourage their workers to report any and all injuries; however, many dissuade employees from doing what is right. Some workplaces even have a culture where the expectation is that you will get injured and you need to “toughen up” and work through it. But you should know that you have a right to workers compensation if you are injured on the job. The first thing you should do is report the injury to your supervisor. Document how the injury happened and provide witnesses or other evidence of the accident, if possible. Your supervisor will contact human resources or the safety officer, if your employer has these roles, and should begin the process of initiating workers compensation for you. 

If you are badly hurt, you should immediately seek care at a hospital, but if the injury is repetitive or less serious, you will need to see a medical provider as soon as possible after reporting the injury to your supervisor. It can be helpful to request a copy of your medical records to keep in case you run into challenges during the worker compensation process. You should be diligent about following the doctor’s recommended treatment and seeing any specialists that can help you in your recovery. Workers compensation should cover these medical bills in addition to any income that you lose taking sick leave to recover.  

In addition, if you are able, you should document the scene of the accident. If you are unable to do so because you are injured, ask a peer or other employee to do it for you. Taking photos or video will capture the scene so that you don’t have to remember everything later. Make sure you are honest. If you made a mistake and it resulted in the injury, don’t try to lie about it. Mistakes happen and you can still be entitled to workers compensation. 

On the other hand, don’t let your employer convince you that you cannot apply for workers compensation. Some employers are excellent about supporting their workers because they value them, but others see them as a potential threat to the company because reporting the injury might reveal OSHA violations and other issues. If your employer threatens to or implies they will retaliate, you should speak with a  workers’ compensation lawyer to see if you should retain their services and protect your interests.