No one wants to entertain the thought of getting injured at work, however, workplace accidents are more common than we think. It’s something that can happen to you, no matter how safe you consider your job to be. Despite some industries being more hazardous than others, most persons are prone to a workplace accident to a certain degree. Occupational hazards are more prominent in factories and in industries that operate heavy machinery. Work that involves a lot of physical movement, such as lifting is also risky. Yet, even desk-job employees are at risk, for example, tangled cables and wires from computers and other office equipment accounts for many trips and falls within an office environment.
These risks are possible no matter how careful you are. It’s imperative to know what to do when an unfortunate work-related accident happens, as in such situations the injured person is entitled most times to receive compensation.
If you don’t know the steps to take after an accident has occurred you can compromise your right for compensation. With this in mind, here are 8 measures to take after an accident.
1. Move to a Safe Area
The first thing to do is to provide help for the injured person as soon as possible. If the accident happened in a high-traffic area, you should remove the person from that area if possible. If you can’t, then have only 1 or 2 people remain with the injured person until help arrives. Try to keep the person calm and away from outside commotion and noise. If the person can talk, get an accurate account of what led to the incident and all necessary details of what happened.
2. Remove Others from the Scene
You have to make sure that everyone is moved to a safe area. The last thing anyone needs is another person getting injured. Depending on the type of accident, there might be blood on the floor that people could slip on, for instance. If there’s any chance that another person could get injured, you have to take measures to prevent that from happening. If the accident was caused by any machinery, make sure no one else uses it or turn it off completely. If needed, you might have to send other workers home.
3. Seek Emergency Help
Some injuries are mild and can be treated with just a first-aid kit and don’t need professional medical assistance. Other injuries are life-threatening, and assuming that we are talking about major accidents, you need to call for emergency help right away. Other injuries may not seem severe but they can be, always allow a medical professional to conclude to ensure the person is safe. Don’t assume the incident doesn’t warrant emergency help.
4. File a Report
You can only do so much to secure the safety of the person and leave the rest up to medical professionals so that you don’t cause further injury unintentionally. Most states require that you file a report within a certain period. Filing a report protects you even if your injury seems minor at the time. It’s possible that you can come out of an accident seemingly unscathed, but an injury, illness, or condition can show up later that’s a direct result of the accident. You need this report as it is a written document that you can use later if you plan on filing a claim.
5. Filing for Workers’ Compensation
A workers’ compensation claim is usually made after a workplace accident. The average compensation is around the area of $40,000 depending on the state you work in. This may be enough to see you through the medical attention you will need to recover, in addition to make up for lost wages of not being able to work as per usual. Usually, the compensation is not enough considering the costs of medical expenses. While all states have certain laws about workers’ compensation, not all employers carry it. This leads us to our next guideline.
6. Contact a Lawyer
Since workers’ compensation might not provide you with enough money to lead a decent lifestyle, you also have the option of making a personal injury claim. Lawyers from CWA Law Firm located in Alabama explained that workers’ compensation might not be enough to help you and there could be a need to pursue a legal case against an employer. You suffered an injury which might not have been your fault at all. Many accidents are caused by the negligence of employers in not creating a safe environment for the people who work under them. Maybe you were working with a faulty machine, or maybe you weren’t trained well to use a piece of equipment. This is on the employer and not on you. It’s recommended to seek legal representation to file a claim and make sure you receive fair and just compensation. When you file a claim, you and your lawyer will be doing your best by helping to make sure this accident happens to no one again.
7. Record Evidence
It’s best to get as much information about the accident as possible to receive maximum compensation. This could be in the form of pictures or writing down any witness statements. Try to find a witness who can give you a clear explanation of what happened. Take down their contact info as there could be a need to reconnect with them again for future reference. You should also have someone take pictures of your injury before you receive treatment. Understandably, you might not be able to do this or even think about doing it, but this will help your case later on, so find someone to help you if you must.
8. Don’t Admit Liability
As stated, you might not be to blame for an accident. After an accident, emotions run high and you could say something that will harm a legal case. And certainly, do not sign anything that could put you to be the one at fault.
The least anyone deserves after being in a workplace accident is compensation. Everyone needs to feel secure in knowing that they will have enough to care for themselves and their family if a serious accident happens to them. A lawyer will guide you through the process and tell you if you have a strong enough case to make a personal injury claim.