Have you been involved in a workplace accident? Are you wondering what to do next?
Common workplace injuries include slips and falls, back injuries, and crashes or collisions. When you’re hurt at work, it’s easy to panic. You may also feel worried or depressed.
But if you stay calm and follow the appropriate protocols, you’ll be on your way to recovery before you know it.
Here’s what you need to know.
Get Medical Treatment
The first thing you need to do when you’re injured is to obtain the right medical care. Immediately, this may involve first aid, but you should also visit a healthcare provider who will assess the extent of your injuries.
Your employer or worker’s compensation carrier may ask you to provide written proof of tests performed or drugs prescribed. Make sure you get this information in writing and keep a copy for your records.
Let Your Supervisor Know
Notify your supervisor as soon as possible about your injury. Your employer will require you to fill out a workplace accident report.
You’ll need to make sure you fill out the report quickly to be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
Review Your Benefits
Your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance will cover benefits to you. These may include coverage for medical costs, replacement of missed wages, and the costs of ongoing care.
Covered expenses may include emergency room visits, prescriptions, or treatments like medical assistance. It can help you recoup some lost wages if you have a broken arm and can’t do your job. Or it could help you get the physical therapy you need if you hurt your back while you were lifting something heavy.
Contact a Workplace Accident Attorney
Sometimes, the money you receive from worker’s compensation is not enough to cover all of your necessary bills and lost work time. If you need to get back to work quickly, these funds can be critical. And sometimes, your legitimate claim can get denied.
A workplace accident lawyer can walk you through the claims process. They will ask the right questions and keep a conversation going between you and the medical and insurance staff. And they will offer advice on how to fill out the paperwork.
A professional lawyer can move your claim along by helping you gather the right documentation and using certain verbiage to assist your case.
Your First Visit
Many worker’s compensation lawyers offer free initial consultations. These will give them an opportunity to judge whether or not you have a case.
Ask your attorney how many worker’s compensation cases they have handled. What percentage of their caseload is related to worker’s comp claims?
You can also ask them to give you an example of a case similar to yours that they won. What was their strategy?
Make sure that your lawyer has good reviews online. You can also ask for references that you can call and ask about their experience.
You should also ask about fees before you hire a lawyer. Generally, a worker’s comp attorney will receive a fixed percentage you’re awarded if you win.
If, however, your lawyer charges by the hour, make sure you get all information in writing before you hire them. You’ll also want them to explain any fees you don’t understand.
An experienced professional can help get you the benefits you deserve to recover from your injury and get back to your life.
Once you’ve hired an attorney, your lawyer may ask you to help collect important paperwork that’s important to your case.
Your accident report, proof of medical treatment, and hospital bills will all be required to help you make a good case. You may also need your pay stubs to provide proof of lost wages.
Your attorney may also enlist the help of witnesses who can support your claim. These may include co-workers who saw the accident or medical experts who can attest to your resulting medical condition. Other professionals, such as mental health experts or occupational inspectors, can use their expertise to support your case.
Seeking a Settlement
Many worker’s compensation cases end in settlements that your lawyer can help you negotiate.
Your employer may, for example, agree to give you a lump-sum settlement if you agree not to seek any further compensation for medical costs or other expenses.
Lump-sum settlements mean that you’ll be getting a one-time payment from your employer. In a structured settlement, you get smaller payments over a long period of time.
Accepting a settlement means that you have guaranteed coverage for a certain amount of your expenses. If you let the case proceed to a hearing, you could receive little or no benefits if the judge decides in your employer’s favor. You could also, however, receive considerably more if you win.
Going to Trial
If your worker’s compensation case goes to trial, you’ll need to testify publicly about your accident. This will allow the court to understand your accident and damages.
Your case will come under more scrutiny during the trial than it did during the claims or settlement process. You’ll need to rely on your lawyer to ask the right questions and represent your case favorably.
Before making the decision to go to trial if a settlement is offered, you’ll need to weigh the risks carefully. Often, folks decide that the pressure of a trial is not worth the long-term damage it could cause to their mental health and peace of mind.
Enduring a Workplace Accident
Sustaining injuries after a workplace accident is a trying time. You may feel depressed, anxious, or just plain tired. If, however, you proceed with the right care, you could get the compensation you need to treat your injuries properly and begin living your life again.
Don’t stop getting on the road to recovery now. For more information on quality worker’s comp attorneys, contact us today.