It was just another regular day at the workplace; you were just going about your business and then all of a sudden, something went wrong. If you find yourself the victim of an accident while at the workplace, your first course of action is obviously to seek medical attention if needed. But you should also keep in mind that you may have the right to a workers' compensation claim if you were injured while on company time and property. In order to preserve your chances of making a successful claim, you will want to choose your words and actions carefully in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Report the Injury Immediately
While the aftermath of an accident can be a chaotic time, you need to make sure a manager or supervisor knows about what happened as soon as possible. In fact, in some states, you have a legal obligation to report. You could lose your rights to a workers' comp claim if you do not inform your managers in a timely fashion. Even if you are not badly hurt, you could wake up tomorrow with soreness or other problems and then your employer will wonder why you didn't come forward at the time of the accident.
Document in Writing As Soon As Possible
If you intend to file for workers' comp, you will likely have to fill out a lot of paperwork. This process can be made easier if you create your own document quickly right after the accident. You should write a description of what happened, what you were doing and what time the accident occurred. If there were witnesses, identify them in your report and ask them if they will make a written statement as well.
Contact A Workers' Comp Attorney
While you may think your company has your best interests at heart, there is often a lot of red tape to deal with when filing a workers' compensation claim. You will likely be dealing with corporate executives or a company attorney. Even if you know these people personally, they also have an obligation to the company's bottom line. In order to ensure that your claim is filed properly and moves forward in a timely fashion, you may want to retain your own legal assistance. A worker hiring an attorney sends a clear message to their company that they are taking their claim very seriously. He or she can help cut through the red tape and get your claim taken care of in a timely fashion.
No one ever sees an accident in the workplace coming, but if you suddenly find yourself in this situation, you should be prepared for how to respond. Report the accident to company management immediately, even if you are not hurt that badly. Create a document with a written account of everything that happened, including any witnesses that were there. To ensure your claim moves forward in a timely fashion, consider hiring a workers' comp attorney to help you navigate the process.