Even though most workplaces have safety protocols to reduce the risk of injuries, they can still happen. Fortunately, there are also protocols in place for when someone does get injured in the workplace. When such an incident occurs, it is important that the injured person follows those protocols if they want to get the settlement they need.
Some of those protocols may be a part of your workplace’s official guidelines, while others are common-sense steps that you need to take. Some of those steps may involve legal action, which is why you need to contact someone like The LA Lawyer in Bakersfield to help you.
Step 1 – Get The Medical Help You Need
Your immediate focus should be on taking care of the injury, even if it is something minor like a sprain or a small laceration. Those kinds of injuries can be initially treated with a first-aid kit before they are treated by a medical practitioner. More serious injuries, such as deep lacerations, fractures, and similar injuries require more immediate professional medical attention.
So, in those cases, your first priority should be getting the care you need. Only once the injury has been treated can you proceed to the next step. No matter the kind of treatment you need, you should let the medical care professional know that the injury is work-related. They will make a note of this in their report so that your employer’s workplace compensation insurer foots the medical bill.
Step 2 – Report The Incident
When you are able, you should report the incident to your supervisor or whoever is in charge. You should also let your co-workers who were not present know about the injury, their corroboration can be important if your employer tries to deny that your accident happened at work. However, it is important that you report the accident to your employer because failing to do so can result in the denial of workers’ compensation.
This is necessary even if you suffered a minor injury; if that minor injury becomes more serious later and you did not report it when it happened, then your employer can dispute the fact that it occurred at work.
Also, if you wait too long to report the injury, then the workers’ compensation insurer might question why the accident was not reported on time. In California, employees have a thirty-day time limit from when the injury occurs to report any workplace injuries, if they wait any later, their employer is not obligated to provide them with the benefits of workers’ compensation.
There may be cases where the injury or ailment is based on repetition or exposure over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or the gradual exposure to toxic substances. In those cases, the injury should be reported as soon as you realize that it is work-related.
Step 3 – Be Thorough With Your Doctor
When dealing with the physician who is treating you, make sure to let them know about all of the aches and pains you feel after the accident even if you do not think that they are serious. They could worsen down the line and if there is no proof that they were work-related, you could be denied coverage from your employer’s workplace insurer. The doctor’s notes will offer the proof that you need in such cases.
Step 4 – Fill Out The Claim Form
A day after your workplace injury, your employer should present you with a claim form for you to fill out. Once you fill out your part of the form, return it to your employer and they will fill out their part of the form. Once that is complete, they will then send the form to the workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurer will then assign a claims administrator to manage your claim.
Do Not Skip Any Of These Steps!
If you follow these steps after getting injured at work, you will be far more likely to receive the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve. If you have trouble completing any of these steps because of your employer, then you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. They will fight for your rights and help you to get the compensation that you need.
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