Follow the steps discussed here to make sure workers compensation has you covered.
Being employed in an industrial workplace can be extremely dangerous. Exposure to toxic chemicals, equipment rollovers, falls, and being caught in machinery are all hazards of being in an industrial setting. If you risk your life and wellbeing for the company you work for every day, it is critical that you know what to do in the event of an accident.
Follow these steps after an industrial accident to make sure workers’ comp has you covered. Making mistakes during this process can make recovering from your injuries a lot more difficult.
1. Report the Accident to Your Supervisor
Even if you do not believe you are seriously injured, it is imperative that you report any accident to your immediate supervisor. An unscrupulous employer may try to claim you weren’t injured at work later on if you don’t. Union members should also report any accident to your union representative as soon as you are able.
2. Get Immediate Medical Assistance
If your accident is serious enough your coworkers or supervisor will call 911, and you will be rushed to the hospital. If your accident is less serious, you may have a choice about whether or not to visit a doctor. You should always see a doctor after an accident at work because you’ll need the medical record later on to give it to workers’ comp and, possibly, attorneys.
3. Exercise Your Right to Choose Your Own Doctor
You do not have to see the company’s doctor in the immediate aftermath of your accident. You have the right to see any doctor you want, and you should because you’re the one who will have to live with the consequences if you don’t receive the highest standard of care. Later on, however, you may be required to see your company’s physician.
4. Understand the Statute of Limitations
Workers’ comp statutes of limitations will depend on the state you’re in and the nature of your claim. You may have longer to file a claim if you developed an illness at work that wasn’t apparent until later on. Unlike personal injury claims, which often have a period of years in which to make a claim, workers’ comp’s statute of limitations could be as short as 30 to 60 days.
5. Do Not Admit Fault
Workers’ comp claims can be denied if employee misconduct was the cause of an accident. Even if you believe your own mistake contributed to your injuries, you should never admit it. There could be other contributing circumstances you were not aware of at the time of the incident. For example, your safety equipment could have been defective.
6. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
To ensure a full recovery, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions. If your doctor says not to return to work yet, you should listen, even if you want to return because you need the income or you’re afraid it will make you look bad if you miss any more days. You could end up making your recovery take longer or your injuries worse if you don’t.
7. Contact an Attorney If Necessary
If your claim is denied, there are workers’ compensation attorneys serving you who can help with your appeal. Some employers may deny claims because they don’t want their premiums to go up. This can happen because companies that don’t put adequate safety measures in place have more injuries, and this cuts into the insurers’ bottom line.
Being the victim of an industrial accident can have significant consequences, including the possibility of being permanently disabled. You may be facing a temporary or permanent loss of income, anguish, pain, and suffering, along with overwhelming medical costs.
As a worker in construction, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and other industrial occupations face a greater risk of injury or death than workers in other fields. This system is designed to protect you, and when it’s navigated correctly it will do just that.