When you are injured on the job, it can be frightening, stressful, confusing, painful, and overwhelming: many people are equally concerned about their health, their financial security, and their careers – all three of which can be in jeopardy after a serious accident and injury. It is absolutely vital to understand that the actions you take (or don’t take) in the minutes, hours, and days after an on-the-job injury can affect the outcome of everything from your workers’ compensation check to your long-term health, to your ability to return to your job.
Below, we’ve shared five actions to take after an injury in order to protect your health and your future.
Five Actions to Take After an On-The-Job Accident
- Get the medical assistance you need immediately. You are only given one body in this lifetime, and you need to take care of it in order to stay healthy and happy. Although it is tempting to appear strong, to downplay what happened, or to even pretend an accident didn’t happen, none of these actions will benefit your health or your workers’ comp claim, if you need to file one. See a doctor as soon as possible.
Report the accident. Most employers have an official process regarding reporting on-the-job accidents that usually involve informing a manager and filling out an accident report. You should report the accident as soon as you can after you have lined up medical help, or you may compromise your workers’ comp claim (or worse, break company policy).
Keep great records. Information wins cases, and the more information you have, the more likely you can secure a just amount of workers’ comp. Collect any possible evidence related to your accident, which could include pictures and witness accounts. It is always a great idea to write your personal account of your accident while it is fresh in your memory.
Report any new injuries or symptoms. It is more common than you think to discover new injuries in the hours, days, and weeks after an accident. For example, you may not notice that you suffered a concussion or head injury until you start noticing memory issues, migraines, and other symptoms. Similarly, you may not know you injured your back until you wake up the next morning. It is imperative that you return to your doctor for treatment for these injuries.
Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. Some workplace accidents and subsequent workers’ comp claims are very simple and straightforward. Others can be extremely complex, especially if the injuries are extensive. If you have questions about your claim, or if your claim is being denied or delayed, you may wish to speak with a West Virginia personal injury attorney who has experience in work injury cases.
Most employers in West Virginia are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. One helpful step you can take before any work accidents or injuries is to learn about the workers’ compensation policies at your company and to be familiar with the on-the-job injury protocol in the event of an accident.
Do you have questions for us, or do you need the assistance of a work injury attorney? Call us at 304-720-6700 today to learn how we can help.