Ask a Work Accident Injury Attorney: 5 Things to Do Immediately After a Work InjuryAfter a workplace injury, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important: your health and well-being. You might even feel stunned, so much so that you don’t know what to do next. But the steps you take immediately following an accident will have a lasting impact on your life. It is for this reason you should consult with a work accident injury attorney as soon as possible, but only after you take the necessary precautions first.
Ask a Work Accident Injury Attorney: 5 Things to Do Immediately After a Work Injury
1. Tell Your Supervisor
The three most common workplace injuries fall into the categories of exposure to toxins, physical overexertion, and slips and falls. Combined, these account for more than 75% of illnesses and injuries that require time away from work.
Your supervisor thus needs to know immediately of any injury you’ve sustained while on the job. They will likely have paperwork you need to complete and can review your rights with you. Additionally, to qualify for worker’s compensation, you must report the injury along with its date and time of occurrence. Failure to do so may obstruct any legal claim you have and force you to continue working in unsafe conditions.
2. Seek Medical Treatment
After reporting your injury, your supervisor may request that you visit a specific hospital or provider. It’s important you comply with these orders to preserve the integrity of your work accident claim. However, you are entitled to a second opinion if you disagree with the doctor’s assessment or feel a second opinion is necessary for your health.
You’ll need to tell your provider the exact order of events leading up to and following your accident. Describe any symptoms you’re having, including pain, and submit to a full examination. Also, follow all aftercare instructions and continue to record your progress. If you are in pain, stiff, or experiencing mobility issues, make notes and include the respective dates. These details will help your doctor choose the proper treatment plan moving forward.
3. Collect Evidence
If you’re able to do so, you should return to the accident scene once you’ve received the proper medical treatment. Although a colleague or cleaning professional may clean the scene before your return, you can still gather all available evidence. This includes photos of the workspace, information about spills or contaminants, and a description of applicable machinery or equipment.
People forget certain details after any event, and a workplace injury is no exception. You will therefore need to write your own account of the accident as soon as possible. You want your memories to be fresh so you can include such details as:
- The task you were performing when the accident occurred
- The name of the person who gave you that task
- The place of the accident
- The date and time of the accident
- The names and contact information of all witnesses
4. Record Your Expenses
As you might have already guessed, it’s crucial you track every detail of your workplace accident. Your expenses must be similarly accounted for, and although you can use a simple piece of paper or a digital spreadsheet for this task, you must include a variety of information. For instance, you must track the number of days you’re absent from work and any wages you subsequently lost.
Those expenses relative to your medical care must be similarly tracked. Record every doctor’s appointment, including mileage to and from the facility, as well as the costs associated with all treatments and medications that you receive. Your team of Houston work accident injury lawyers will use these details when constructing your legal case if it is determined you can proceed with a lawsuit.
5. Call an Attorney
That brings us to our next point, which is to call an experienced attorney as soon as you have reported the accident, received medical care, and appropriately noted your accident’s details. By experienced, we mean a lawyer who specializes in work accident injuries. A novice, or someone engaged in general practice, may struggle with the complexities of your case and irrevocably harm your chances for compensation.
A skilled and qualified work accident injury attorney should help you stay realistic about your case’s expected outcome. This means you will need to engage in frank discussions with your lawyer, disclosing the full details of your accident and asking questions about the strength of your claim. Even if you feel slightly embarrassed by some of these details, you can trust your attorney not to pass judgment or share your information with others.
Following a workplace injury, you may find yourself out of work for days, weeks, or even months. In the meantime, bills – medical and otherwise – are likely to pile up even as your bank account dwindles. By following the steps described here, you can fight for justice and begin to rebuild your life. Remember to first tell your supervisor about the accident, and then seek medical attention. Last but not least, call an attorney to explore your legal options.