Suffering a Workplace Injury: What Are the Next Steps?
Sometimes a workplace injury is inevitable no matter how careful you are. Your employer may have the best safety measures in place. However, things go wrong, and people make mistakes. If you end up suffering a workplace injury, the least you should expect is to have your company take care of you.
If this doesn’t happen, you need to contact one of our workers’ comp attorneys in Charlotte. They’ll take the necessary steps to ensure that your claim is paid. However, the only way they can do this is if you take the appropriate steps immediately following your workplace accident.
Every industry has its own rules when it comes to safety. Some jobs are more dangerous than others. For example, if you work in a factory or warehouse, you’re more likely to suffer a workplace injury than if you’re a secretary or teacher. It’s just the nature of the work you do. While this may be the case, most employers in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect all their employees.
What to Do After Suffering a Workplace Injury
Just as the majority of North Carolina employers are required to carry insurance, workers are required to behave in a certain way as well. Here, we’ll talk about what you’re supposed to do immediately after suffering a workplace injury. We’ll also talk about the consequences if you fail to follow these basic steps.
1. Seek Medical Help
If you are injured on the job, you must receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Some organizations have health care centers while others send their employees to a local hospital or urgent care. Either way, you must comply with this requirement if you expect to have your workers’ comp claim covered for suffering a workplace injury.
Some people think they can’t go for treatment unless they have private health insurance. This isn’t the case. When you go to the hospital or clinic, they’ll have you fill out a ton of paperwork. One of the forms will ask if your injuries are related to either a workplace accident or a car accident.
You must check the “yes” box here. This way, the provider understands that your employer’s insurance company is expected to cover your medical expenses. If they don’t do this and you receive bills for treatment, make sure you show them to your Charlotte injury lawyers.
If for some reason your employer doesn’t offer immediate medical care, or if you’re alone at the time of your injury, call 911. They’ll send an ambulance to your place of business and make sure you’re taken directly to the emergency room.
2. Report The Accident as Soon as Possible
Generally, when suffering a workplace injury, you need to report the injury to your manager or human resources director. This way, they are on notice that you got hurt. They can’t pretend they weren’t aware of the injury. Nor can they later deny that the event ever took place.
Make sure you get a copy of any paperwork you fill out. If they refuse to make you a copy, put something in writing stating that you requested the documents and were denied. This way, your workers’ compensation attorneys in Charlotte can prove that you requested this information. This can also go a long way toward proving that you notified your employer of your injuries right away.
If your injuries are too severe to report on the date of your accident, make sure you do so as soon as possible afterward. Most companies will still honor a claim as long as it’s reported within thirty (30) days of your accident.
3. Secure the Scene
Make sure your manager seals the place of the incident to prevent further injury and for investigative purposes. Sometimes your employer does not want to give you compensation and tries to fabricate the evidence. Limiting peoples’ access to the accident place will enable the investigators to find the loopholes in safety precautions taken by your employer.
4. Gather Evidence & Accident Details
Suppose you experience a severe injury at work. In that case, you can ask your colleague or manager to gather the evidence you need for your claim. If you’re lucky, your employer may have CCTV footage of the accident. This is the best kind of proof your workers’ compensation attorneys in Charlotte can use to prove your case.
Another thing you can do when suffering a workplace injury is to take pictures of the accident scene. For example, if there is a lot of debris on the floor and you slipped and fell, take a photo of the cluttered area. Or, if you are hit in the head with a piece of equipment, take a picture of the equipment that hurt you. Your attorney may need this later on in your case.
5. Collect the Names of Any Witnesses
An eyewitness can be of great help in strengthening your case after suffering a workplace injury. You can ask your colleagues who saw the accident to act as your witnesses. Write down their names and contact details if they are willing to attest to what happened.
Just keep in mind – your coworkers might be reluctant to support you in court. They don’t want to get in trouble or lose their job. If things get to the point where you’re in court and need them to testify, then your employer has already shown they don’t follow the rules. It’s not a stretch to think they’ll punish your coworkers for being on your side.
6. File Your Workers Compensation Claim
While reporting your accident to your employer/manager, fill out the workers’ compensation claim form. Here, you need to mention all the necessary information regarding your accident as mentioned below:
- Time, date, and place where the accident has occurred
- Where you got the injury in your body and how severe it is
- What caused the accident and if there is negligence involved
- Information of other people who are either involved or witnessed the accident
- Medical history and treatment you have received after the accident
It is imperative to file the claim as soon as possible after suffering a workplace injury and ensure the insurance company has all the necessary information to calculate your compensation. If you don’t do this in a timely fashion, your claim will be denied.
Hire Our Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorneys in Charlotte
After suffering a workplace injury, you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. At Waple & Houk, PLLC, it’s our top priority to serve our clients with the best possible services. With the help of our Charlotte injury lawyers, you will be able to get the compensation you deserve.