What to Do & Not Do After Being Injured On the Job

Posted By Thomas F. Martin, PLC || 7-Apr-2017

Your on-the-job training should cover some safety precautions about how to avoid workplace accidents and injuries. But, if your workplace is like many others, it will only brush upon what to do after an on-the-job injury and your rights as an injured employee. To help shake away some of the uncertainty of the situation, we have compiled a helpful and easy-to-follow list of steps that should be taken after any accident or injury that occurs either in your workplace or while you are performing work-related duties.

Hurt in a workplace accident? Follow these steps:

  1. Get help: If your injury is severe enough to require immediate medical attention, get it as soon as possible. Some people hesitate to call 911 or be taken to a doctor because they do not know if the medical treatments needed will be covered under workers’ compensation law or insurance benefits. Please do not jeopardize your own health. Always call for help when you need it, no matter the circumstances.
  2. Tell your supervisor: Every state has its own guidelines as to how long you can wait before telling your boss, supervisor, manager, or superior about a workplace accident. In California, you most likely have 30 days to officially file a notice of the injury, but you should not plan on using the full 30-day time limit. It is always in your best interest to tell your supervisor as soon as possible about your accident and injury. Waiting too long could increase your liability if your claim becomes a lawsuit, and it could make it difficult for you to receive the medical treatments you need and when you need them. If you do not have a chance to immediately tell your supervisor, then you should tell a trusted coworker to do it for you. Ideally, your supervisor will come to the accident site at once, anyway.
  3. Double-check with your employer: Even though you are the one who was injured and who filled out an injury report for your company records, it is up to your employer to actually file a workers’ compensation claim, as this is something between your parent company and its own insurer. Your employer should have this filed away in a timely manner after your accident; in some situations, they are legally obligated to have it filed within 10 days of your report. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor or boss each day for updates about your workers’ comp claim.
  4. Follow-up appointments: Do not stray from your doctor’s orders while recovering from your injuries. If you do not go to all checkups, take all medicines, get all hours of recommended bedrest, and so on, you might jeopardize your own chances of receiving full compensation. Just like with delaying medical treatment, ignoring it will also raise your liability if the matter escalates to the courtroom.
  5. Prepare for litigation: In a worst case scenario, your workers’ compensation claim will be denied or delayed by your employer’s insurance company. When your claim is not being taken as seriously as it should be, filing a lawsuit might be your only option. If you want to start off on the right foot and make things easier for yourself, you should assume the worst is a possibility and retain a workers’ compensation lawyer at the beginning of your claim.

Thomas F. Martin, PLC and our Orange County workers’ compensation attorney has been fighting for the rights of wrongfully injured employees for more than 25 years. With a history of success and appreciative client reviews, you know you can trust us with your claim, whether you need help filing, appealing, or litigating. Call 714.594.5389 to schedule a free consultation today.

Thomas F. Martin, PLC – Fighting for Injured Worker’s Rights in California

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