February 8, 2019
Any workplace carries the potential for injury. Warehouses and cross-docks constantly deal with hazardous materials and heavy machinery. Office spaces expose workers to aggressively lit screens and repetitive motions on a keyboard. Outdoor work environments host any number of unexpected elements, from construction to power line maintenance, that pose their own threats to safety.
With that being said, what should you do if you’re injured on the job? Let’s go over some specific steps you should take to ensure you get any medical treatment and compensation you may need.
Step 1: Seek Medical Treatment
This one’s rather straightforward and should be your first priority when you’re injured on the job, regardless of whether the injury was something sudden (like an injury relating to a chemical spill, heavy machinery, or equipment malfunction) or more gradual (like carpal tunnel or back issues).
Receiving care from a doctor approved by your employer’s healthcare plan will not only ensure you can eventually recover from whatever injury you received, but it will also allow expert eyes to evaluate you situation and give you another potential eyewitness to the extent of your injury—even beyond the ones who might have seen the injury take place.
Medical professionals can officially distinguish between which injuries absolutely happened as a result of workplace factors, and which ones may have occurred elsewhere.
And if your employer decides not to dispute your compensation case, they also cover the cost of medical expenses for any procedures you might need.
Step 2: Let Your Supervisor(s) Know
In cases of more sudden, immediate injury, steps one and two can occur almost simultaneously, but any employee who’s injured on the job must notify their employer—in writing—within thirty days of the injury occurring.
Employers have their roles to play in helping you get workers’ compensation: working with HR and eyewitnesses to deal with the initial fallout of a workplace accident that caused injury, filing the paperwork to get your case in motion, and, if necessary, enlisting other employees’ help in covering the work you won’t be able to do. They can’t do that if you don’t keep them in the loop about why, how, when, and where your injury happened.
The same goes if your injury or disease is more gradual in nature but just as debilitating. The timetable in this case is a bit different, however. You should notify your boss within two years of becoming disabled as a result of occupational disease or within two years of you knowing the disease or injury was work-related.
Step 3: Speak with a Work Injury Attorney
At times, even if you do everything in your power to make your case ironclad, the procedure for receiving the workers’ compensation to which you’re entitled can be strenuous.
In any case, speaking with a work injury attorney is invaluable. They know the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation laws, and they’ll help you ensure your rights as an employee are upheld.
Help from an Indiana Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’re searching for an attorney because you’ve been injured on the job, either via an accident or gradual disease, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your case. Our Indiana workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help.