What to Do If You Were Injured at Work: Can I Sue?
About 5,000 fatal work injuries occurred in 2019. That’s a 2% increase year over year. The employer-reported injury and illness rate has reached 2.8 cases per 100 workers.
After an accident, you might feel the need to search “I was injured at work; can I sue?” The answer is yes! You shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills if you weren’t at fault.
Here are five steps you should take after an accident. Following these five steps will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
An injury at work doesn’t have to change your life. Instead, start fighting for worker’s compensation with these tips today.
1. Inform a Supervisor
Immediately after you’re injured at work, the thought, “I was injured at work; can I sue” might not pop into your mind first. Instead, it’s important to focus on your health and well-being above all else.
Find a supervisor right away and let them know there was a workplace accident. Your supervisor will let you know how to proceed. They can also review your rights and provide the guidance you need.
Don’t skip this step. Speaking with your supervisor will ensure they hear about your safety concerns.
The concerns you voice could encourage your supervisor to make essential changes. If they fail to make these changes, someone else might sustain an injury at work, too. You’ll have to continue working in a potentially hazardous environment as well.
Instead, talk to your supervisor about filing an official accident report.
In some states, you’re required to file a report by a specific deadline. Make sure to file the report right away. Otherwise, you might miss your chance to receive worker’s compensation.
You’ll need to report exactly what happened in order to qualify for worker’s comp.
Write down the instructions your supervisor provides and follow their instructions.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Nearly 30% of nonfatal work injuries that lead to missed workdays are related to slips, trips, and falls. Over 235,000 of these injuries occur due to contact with equipment and objects.
In fact, about 2.5 million workers sustain work-related injuries that require them to visit an emergency room.
Remember to tell your supervisor that there was an accident in the workplace. Let them know about the extent of your injuries, too. Your supervisor will let you know if you need to visit a specific physician.
Your employer might cover the travel costs if you need to visit a physician or hospital. Make sure to keep track of your expenses.
It’s important to visit the doctor your supervisor refers you to as well. If you disagree with their assessment, you’re entitled to a second opinion. Worker’s compensation might not cover the cost of your second doctor’s visit, though.
You might have to pay for the second visit out of pocket.
After you’re injured at work, “can I sue” might cross your mind. Make sure to seek medical attention immediately after you’re injured at work. If you plan on suing, you’ll need to get a doctor’s official report.
Their report can determine what caused your injuries, as well as the severity of your injuries.
Make sure to tell the doctor exactly what happened. List every symptom you’re experiencing, too. Then, ask them to send a Health Professional’s Report.
Their report can strengthen your worker’s compensation claim.
3. Review the Scene
If you’re physically able to, return to the scene of the accident right away.
There’s always a risk that someone will clean up the accident after you’re injured at work. Try to gather evidence before you leave the scene of the accident. Otherwise, you might miss a chance to gather the evidence you need.
Physical evidence can support your side of the story.
It’s normal to forget certain details after an accident. Write down your recollection of what happened right away. Consider:
- Where the accident in the workplace took place
- The data and time the accident occurred
- What you were doing before the accident
- The contact information for any witnesses
Your worker’s compensation lawyer might decide to contact witnesses when building your claim.
4. File a Claim
The next time you ask yourself, “I was injured at work; can I sue,” head online and look for a worker’s compensation lawyer.
Your lawyer will help you file a claim. Worker’s compensation should cover your injuries and lost wages.
You won’t need to prove you sustained your injuries on the job to fight for worker’s compensation. In some cases, work can contribute to an injury.
For example, repetitive motions can contribute to back pain. You could develop pain symptoms over time.
It’s important to file your worker’s compensation claim right away. Otherwise, the statute of limitations could lapse. You might miss the chance to fight for the compensation you deserve.
5. Find a Lawyer
You don’t have to work through this process alone. Instead, consider hiring an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer.
A worker’s compensation lawyer can help you sue and fight for the compensation you’re due.
When searching for a lawyer, make sure they specialize in workplace accidents and worker’s compensation claims. Determine how long they’ve practiced law, too.
Make sure they’re licensed to practice in your state.
Determine if they have experience with your situation, too. For example, you might need a slip and fall lawyer.
A licensed, experienced lawyer will understand the laws and procedures that are relevant to your case. They’ll have an easier time fighting for the compensation you’re due.
Make sure to bring your lawyer the accident report. Let them know about any medical bills or lost wages, too. They can use their prior experience to calculate your losses.
It’s important to note that each state has different rules, guidelines, and deadlines regarding worker’s compensation law. Finding someone with experience in your area can benefit your claim.
You don’t have to handle this situation alone. Hiring an experienced lawyer will ensure you don’t make mistakes along the way.
I Was Injured at Work; Can I Sue: 5 Steps to Compensation
If you’re asking yourself, “I was injured at work; can I sue,” don’t wait to call for help. Instead, find an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer. They can help you file a claim and fight for the compensation you’re due.
With their help, a workplace accident doesn’t have to impact your quality of life.
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