Five Steps to Take After a Workplace Accident
If you ever find yourself involved in a workplace accident, it is important to know the steps to take to ensure your rights to compensation and care are met in a timely manner. You may feel uncertain about your job security or injury treatment plan, but with the right help you can find the best path to recovery and a return to work.
Follow these five steps after a workplace accident to best establish a workers' compensation claim:
1. File a report with your employer
To start the workers' compensation claim process, you should file a report with your employer after the accident immediately. Be truthful about what happened and encourage witnesses to the accident to speak on your behalf. Request a copy of the original report to save for your records.
2. Keep all paperwork
After you receive a copy of the initial report from your employer, it is important that you maintain all records of the incident. Paperwork will be your first line of defense throughout the process. Some documents could also have specific instructions on filing deadlines and how to seek treatment.
In addition to the records your employer provides, you should also keep your own record of time missed due to the injury and save receipts of any out-of-pocket medical costs.
3. Follow employer's instructions for initial care
Your employer will likely schedule you to see a physician to assess your treatment needs. Ask this doctor specific questions about the anticipated costs related to your injury, the amount of time you could be absent from work and the total expected treatment time.
4. Seek a second opinion
The doctor your employer could send you to may not be your primary care physician. Instead, this doctor is likely paid by your employer's insurance company and has the incentive to save them money. This tactic could mean less quality care for you. Therefore, you should seek a second opinion from a doctor you trust.
Bring the paperwork from your employer and initial appointment so your doctor understands the context of your injury.
5. Call a workers' compensation attorney
Filing a workers' compensation can be an emotionally trying time for you and your family. Deadlines are strict, and the paperwork is confusing. You deserve the representation of a skilled litigator to help you through the claims process.