Whether you are working at a construction yard or inside an air-conditioned office, you are always at risk of getting injured or disabled. Workplace injuries can happen and many are caused by a failure to implement preventative measures.
Nonetheless, the impact that a workplace injury has on an employee can be significant. On top of the hospital bills they need to shoulder, they also suffer from lost income and a decreased quality of life if the accident leads to a disability.
The good news is that employees injured on the job can recover physically and financially from their ordeal. It’s only a matter of following these steps the moment they get injured at work.
1. Get immediate medical help
The first thing you will need to do is to get treated for the injury. Inform a coworker or get help from your immediate supervisor. Even if it’s a small paper cut, your employer is required to provide medical assistance at any given time. Aside from preventing the injury from getting worse, responding to an injury quickly can reinforce your claims.
2. Document your injuries
After the accident, you could spend several days in bed depending on the severity of your injuries. However, there are cases when indications of injury show up days or weeks after. This is often the case for employees who developed post-traumatic stress order following a life-threatening accident.
Other cases such as mesothelioma (a type of cancer resulting from prolonged exposure to asbestos) could take years to develop. For this reason, consider your current physical condition and schedule regular check-ups with a physician. That way, you can document the full extent of your injuries and strengthen your claims for the most benefit.
3. File for workers’ compensation
Employers are required to follow workers’ compensation laws aimed at helping injured employees recover. Following an accident within business premises, your employer should guide you toward filing the necessary paperwork in fulfilling the claims process. While workers’ comp laws vary from state to state, these laws follow a no-fault system in which employers compensate injured employees through a workers’ comp insurance carrier.
4. Get a workers’ comp lawyer
When filing a workers’ comp claim, you must adhere to the statute of limitations of the state in which the injury occurred. In most places, you have only two years to file a claim before your state’s workers’ compensation board. When that timeline lapses, you could end up waiving your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
It’s better earlier than later, so start the claims process immediately after your injury by getting a local workers’ comp lawyer to build your case. If you are employed in South Carolina, you can reach out to the Joye Law Firm for help in filing your worker’s comp claim and receiving your benefits before the time runs out.
Workplace accidents can happen anytime and some can take years before they begin affecting your health and well-being. By knowing what to do afterward, you will be well on your way to a full recovery and a better life.