When working conditions are compromised, work accidents and injuries become inevitable. While large businesses typically provide sufficient protection, small business employees remain at higher risk. If you’ve recently suffered an injury at work, you have legal rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Under state law, every employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. But what exactly should you do to achieve those benefits?
Here are the steps to take when you face an accident at work.
Examine Your Injury
Regardless of how minor the injury is, alert the medical response team or safety site supervisor in your company. In case of a life-threatening emergency, you or a team member should immediately call 911. For less serious injuries, you should turn to a healthcare provider at a nearby walk-in clinic or a provider assigned by your employers’ workers’ compensation carrier.
In case of a serious accident, do everything in your power to secure the scene and any materials or equipment involved. If possible, get the area enclosed and limit access to reduce the chances of secondary accidents as well as preserve the evidence.
Report the Accident
Most states have considerably short deadlines for reporting workplace accidents. To secure workers’ compensation benefits, file an accident report in which you were involved on the job, even if you think you aren’t injured.
Reporting a workplace accident immediately will protect you even if the symptoms appear after weeks or months after the incident. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms at all, your report should alert the employer to take immediate action and make the facility a safer place to work. Your immediate action should also protect other employees from facing the same injury at some point in the future.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer but a request for benefits to compensate your any damages. Before filing your claim, it’s best to seek advice from a workers’ compensation attorney who has experience helping employees suffering from workplace accidents. The consultation should give you a deeper idea about the benefits you might be entitled to receive.
These were some steps to take when you face an accident at work. By now, you should not just be well aware of your rights but also find yourself in a better position to file a workers’ compensation claim.