Whether you work at a construction site or in an air-conditioned office, you are always at risk of injury or disability. Workplace injuries can happen and many are caused by a failure to implement preventative measures.
Nevertheless, the impact that a workplace injury has on an employee can be significant. On top of the hospital bills they have to bear, they also suffer from lost income and a reduced quality of life if the accident results in a disability.
The good news is that employees injured on the job can recover physically and financially from their ordeal. It’s just a matter of following these steps once they are injured at work.
1. Get immediate medical attention
The first thing you will need to do is get treated for the injury. Inform a colleague or get help from your immediate supervisor. Even if it’s a small piece of paper, your employer must provide medical assistance at any time. In addition to preventing the injury from getting worse, responding quickly to an injury can strengthen your claims.
2. Document your injuries
After the accident, you may spend several days in bed, depending on the severity of your injuries. However, there are cases where indications of injury emerge days or weeks afterwards. This is often the case for employees who have developed post-traumatic stress disorder after a life-threatening accident.
Other cases such as mesothelioma (a type of cancer that results from prolonged exposure to asbestos) can take years to develop. For this reason, consider your current physical condition and schedule regular checkups with a physician. That way, you can document the full extent of your injuries and strengthen your claims to the greatest advantage.
3. File for workers’ compensation
Employers are required to follow workers’ compensation laws aimed at helping injured employees recover. After an accident on business premises, your employer should guide you in submitting the necessary paperwork to complete the claims process. While workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, these laws follow a no-fault system in which employers compensate injured employees through a workers’ comp insurance company.
4. Get a workers’ comp attorney
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you must comply with the statute of limitations of the state in which the injury occurred. In most places, you only have two years to file a claim with your state’s workers’ compensation board. When that timeline expires, you may eventually waive your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
It’s better sooner than later, so start the claim process immediately after your injury by getting a local workers’ comp attorney to build your case. If you are employed in South Carolina, you can contact the Joye Law Firm for help filing your worker’s compensation claim and receiving your benefits before time runs out.
Workplace accidents can happen at any time and some can take years to affect your health and well-being. By knowing what to do afterwards, you will be well on your way to a full recovery and a better life.