On-the-job injuries can be quite serious. Should you suffer from a work injury, you may wonder what you should do next and what your legal rights are. Review the following frequently asked questions to learn more about workplace injuries.
What should I do if I am injured at work?
If you suffer a workplace injury, get medical attention as soon as possible. Tell your doctor all the details leading to your injury so he or she can write up a thorough report of your medical examination and assessment of your injury. Your doctor will determine the extent of the damage, how to treat the damage, and when you will be able to return to work.
After you are treated by your doctor, file a written report to your supervisor or boss, describing the detailed events leading to the injury and the severity of your injury. Describe the unsafe working conditions or tools that caused the injury. The sooner you write the report, the more details you will likely remember to add. If possible, take pictures of any unsafe or hazardous workplace environments or tools to help support your story.
You should also seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer or workers' compensation lawyer. The lawyer will weigh your evidence and determine whether you have enough cause to pursue a lawsuit seeking compensation.
What is workers' compensation?
Workers' compensation is part of the benefits offered by an employer to their employees. Some companies require employees to sign up for workers' compensation. With workers' compensation, you will generally be guaranteed to receive an allotted monetary sum as well as other benefits (i.e., lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses) if you suffer a work-related injury. In return, you would lose your right to sue your employer.
Sometimes, workers' compensation does not cover all medical and rehabilitation costs. In this situation, you should consult with a lawyer to understand how you should proceed in filing a lawsuit for additional personal injury claims. A lawyer can also help if your loved one is killed in a workplace injury, as you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf. Because workers' compensation laws are so complex, it is always best to review your situation with an attorney to be sure your rights are protected.