In the United States in 2015, there were almost 3 million injuries in the workplace. That’s a rate of almost 15 injuries per 10,000 full-time workers. This means that if you are employed somewhere – especially if your work is in any way dangerous – there is a good chance that you will suffer an injury on the job. If you have been injured on the job or think there is a good chance you might be, it’s important to know what steps need to be taken. It’s better to be prepared for what could happen than to scramble for answers to your questions after you have been injured. Either way, here are the first steps you need to take if you have been injured on the job.
Tell Your Supervisor if You Have an Injury on the Job
If you are injured on the job, the obvious first step is to alert someone who can help you, if help is needed. After summoning some sort of medical attention – or while you are in the process of getting medical attention – you need to alert your immediate supervisor/boss to what happened. Most companies have procedures that they follow in response to an employee injury. A record will need to be kept as to when, where and how the injury occurred and the events that take place after the injury.
If possible, submit a written record of your injury to your supervisor and keep a copy for yourself.
Learn Your Company’s Workers’ Compensation Procedures
Different companies may have different ways that they handle workers’ compensation cases, forms that need to be filled out, etc.; know those procedures and follow them. Failure to do so may be used as a reason for them to fight your claim. Besides knowing what your company requires, you also need to know what the workers’ comp rules are in the state you were injured in.
File Your Claim as Soon as Possible
Many states have a statute of limitations on filing a workers’ compensation claim, so you will want to file your claim as soon as you can (for example, In Florida you have 30 days from the day the injury occurred to file your claim). There are also often state laws regarding what doctor you can see about your injury, whether it can be one you choose or one your employer has retained for the purposes of treating those injured on the job. In either case, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Find a Lawyer
Being prepared is one thing, but no matter how prepared you are, it will still be incredibly helpful to have someone on your side that knows workers’ compensation cases and the law surrounding them. More than anything else, an experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate what could end up being a time-consuming and complicated process.
If you’ve been injured in Florida, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. for a free consultation today.