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Workplace accidents can happen to anyone. You can become injured while performing your normal duties at a physical job, or you can have an accident like a fall. After an injury, it can be confusing as to what you should do next, especially if the injury could have been prevented in the first place.
Get Treatment First
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, don’t fret about who is at fault. Take care of your health first, and consult a personal injury attorney later. Depending on the extent of the injury, you should seek treatment ranging from self-administered first aid or a visit to the emergency room.
Your employer should have a policy for how to handle accidents so be sure you know these protocols. After receiving immediate medical attention, be sure to follow up with your primary care physician as soon as possible. Your primary care can often provide you additional resources and guidance to recover as quickly as possible from the injury. The most important thing is to treat any injuries as soon as possible to reduce the risk of long-term problems.
Report The Accident
After you’ve been treated, or before if it’s feasible, make your employer aware of the accident. This way if you decide to claim workers compensation later, there’s a record of the incident.
Report through the proper channels and insist on either an audio recording or document be made to make sure your employer won’t be able to dispute that the accident happened. If any co-workers were present, ask them to make a note of what happened in case their evidence is required in a dispute.
Be sure not to discuss blame with anyone, even with friends in the office. Admitting fault could damage your cause later if you do decide to claim. The best practice is to avoid discussing the details at all to avoid compromising the situation.
If your employer keeps an accident report book, make sure the accident has been recorded correctly. Some employers may be reluctant to make a record of any accidents, especially if they have targets to meet, but insist that a log is made.
If your boss refuses to record it, make sure you’ve made a paper trail by emailing them about it, and saving copies of your emails. This can help you later on if you claim workers compensation.
There are several different workplace hazards that can occur and more importantly, could have been prevented. If your accident was caused by something like a trip hazard, a wet floor without signs, or unsafe equipment, be sure to record what caused your accident.
Take photos or videos of the area, and ask for access to the CCTV to see if your accident was covered. Hold onto any evidence as it could all help a compensation claim.
Keep A Record Of Symptoms
After the accident, keep a record of any visits to your doctor, and a diary of any problems or symptoms. Include even minor injuries because your primary physician may only focus on the major injuries. Make a note somewhere, whether on paper or on your phone.
After your treatment is completed, ask your physician for a record of any treatment you received. In addition, keep a record of any expenses or losses caused by your accident, such as loss of earnings or the cost of medical treatment.
If you decide to speak to an attorney later on, having records including photographs of everything can really help your case.
Make Sure Your Emergency Fund Is Filled
In order to protect yourself financially, make sure you have a fully-funded emergency fund. In the event of a workplace injury, it can take months and even years for workers compensation to process a claim and reimburse you for any expenses.
In a worst-case scenario, your claim could even be denied causing further time and litigation without you being reimbursed.
If you are out for an extended period of time, you may have to burn through your savings in order to pay the monthly bills. This is why you should make it your primary goal to get your debt paid off and build up a 6-month emergency fund for situations just like this.
Becoming injured at work can be detrimental to your finances, especially if your injury prevents you from going to work.
Protect yourself and your family by getting your finances in order. If you need help, I have a Debt Payoff Playbook to assist you with this process.