Being involved in a workplace accident that results in an injury can be a devastating experience, for both the worker and their loved ones. Unfortunately, many who are injured on-the-job make the mistake of failing to report the incident right away, which can cause numerous issues down the road. Regardless of whether you sustained a minor or severe injury, it is imperative that you report it right away. Many injuries do not show up right away or are not clear to the untrained eye. By seeking medical attention immediately and notifying your employer, you are already on the right track to receiving compensation for your damages and any losses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, a serious workplace injury can result in the worker being unable to perform the necessary functions and duties of the job. When this is the case, that worker runs the risk of not getting paid while they go through the rehabilitation process. While all businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to protect injured employees, when the accident is not reported, they may not have to pay out these benefits, leaving the worker in a real mess.
In order to ensure you know what to do in the event you are involved in a workplace accident, we are going to go over the most important steps to take following this type of incident. While the laws pertaining to workplace injuries and workers’ compensation vary by state and employer, the steps listed below should give you a good place to start when it comes to pursuing a lawsuit or seeking benefits for your losses.
- Report the incident. Before you do anything else, report the accident and your injuries to your employer. You will want to provide your supervisor, HR professional, manager, or other person of authority with a written report of the incident as soon as possible. Generally speaking, reports of accidents and their subsequent injuries must be made within 30 days of the incident in order to remain eligible for workers’ compensation.
- Seek medical attention. Depending on the type of accident and your injuries, be sure and seek medical attention right away. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to see a doctor before you report the accident. Your medical bills should be covered by your employer in the event you were injured on-the-job, as long as you take all the necessary steps and follow protocol. Making the decision to see a doctor right away is very important when it comes to not only getting the medical care you need, but ensuring your injuries are adequately documented. Make sure you have a medical record of the care you received, as this will be a crucial piece of evidence when submitting your workers’ compensation paperwork.
- Document any time you must take off from work. If you have missed more than seven days of work, you are entitled to payment of lost wages through our state’s workers’ compensation process. With this in mind, make sure you are keeping records of all the time you miss from work, including any visits to the doctor or rehabilitation center. If your injuries are going to keep you away from work for an extended period, you may be eligible for temporary or permanent disability benefits.
- Contact a workplace accident attorney. You will not always need an attorney following a workplace accident, but it is a good idea to consult one in order to ensure you are doing everything you can to receive compensation for your injury. An attorney will be able to advise you on your next steps and help you with the workers’ compensation or disability benefits process.
To learn more about workers’ compensation laws in Texas, or to schedule an appointment with one of our Dallas workplace accident attorneys, contact Rad Law Firm today.