Millions of American workers are injured on-the-job each year. Companies
often have procedures in place to help prevent on-the-job injuries, but
all of the safe practices in the world cannot completely eliminate the
risk of injury. When workers are injured, they are sometimes unsure of
what to do. What follows is a general overview of what to do if you have
been injured at work.
Immediately Report the Injury
The first and most important thing a worker should do after suffering an
on-the-job injury is report it to management. No matter how severe the
injury is, it should always be reported right away. Sometimes workers
suffer what initially seems to be a minor injury and they try to "tough
it out" only to have the injury worsen as time goes by. If the injury
is not reported at the time of the incident, it can be difficult to recover
compensation for any medical treatment that is needed down the road.
Get Medical Treatment
After reporting the injury to management, it is important that you get
any medical treatment that you require. Even with minor injuries, you
can never be too cautious. What may seem like a minor muscle pull or tear
could turn into a more severe injury without immediate and proper treatment.
If you are in any doubt about the severity of the injury, it is best to
have an examination performed by a doctor to determine the true extent
of the injury.
Your employer will likely ask you to be examined by the company doctor.
Keep in mind that the company doctor does not always have injured workers'
best interests in mind. The company doctor is incentivized by the company
to understate the severity of injuries to help prevent the company from
having to pay the full cost of medical treatment. Always remember that
you do not have to get treatment from the company doctor. The law allows
injured workers to seek medical treatment from any doctor they choose.
Visit a doctor that you know and trust.
Talk to a Work Injury Attorney
After you have received medical treatment, you should contact a work injury
attorney to discuss your legal options. As soon as a worker is injured,
the company's lawyers immediately begin investigating the accident,
interviewing witnesses, and doing everything they can to shield the company
form any liability. You should have someone working on your side too.
A work injury attorney can walk you through your legal options and help
you determine the best course of action. They can also provide you with
legal advice to protect your claim from the scrutiny of the company lawyers.
Finally, a work injury attorney will negotiate and fight on your behalf
to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
At Arnold & Itkin, our work injury attorneys have helped workers in
nearly every state receive fair compensation for injuries they suffered
on-the-job. Over the last 5 years, we have won our clients more than $1
billion in verdicts and settlements.
Call our work injury attorneys today for a free consultation.