Suffering a serious workplace injury can be absolutely devastating to both the victim and their loved ones. Unfortunately, more than 3.3 million Americans suffer workplace injuries every single year in the United States. While many of these injuries are minor and do not result in any missed work or medical bills, this is not always the case. If you are injured on-the-job, it is imperative you report the incident immediately and make sure you understand your rights. Many workers make the mistake of keeping their injury a secret, which could ruin their chances of receiving workers’ compensation for any damages.
Every single state requires employers to carry insurance and make sure their environment is a safe and healthy for workers. Even though they are required by law to do this, many fail to fulfill this duty, in turn putting their employees at risk of being injured. It is important to keep in mind that no matter how safe a workplace is, accidents still happen, resulting in serious injuries – or worse. This is why it is important that you understand what your rights are following a workplace injury.
Let’s now go over some of the steps you should take following a workplace accident to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve:
- Report the incident to your employer. The very first thing you should do after a workplace accident is report the incident. While you may think the incident isn’t that serious – especially if your injuries didn’t require medical attention – failing to report the details to your employer could cause major problems for you down the road. In some instances, injuries develop over time and do not show up right away. If you did not notify your employer when the accident took place, you may experience delays in your benefits, or have them denied altogether.
- Seek medical treatment. Even if you do not believe your injuries are very serious, it is important you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Many workplace accident injuries are internal or do not show up right away. Your employer will also ask for documents that show you received treatment, should you seek workers’ compensation. It is important you have all the necessary documents and information from your doctor showing the treatment you received and his or her diagnosis.
- Collect information from your employer. If you have been injured in a workplace accident and reported it to your employer, they are required to provide you with a claim form within one business day of learning about the incident. If they do not do this, you can find the proper workers’ compensation forms on the Division of Workers’ Compensation website. It is important you get the claim process started as soon as possible, so be sure and fill out the forms and give them to your employer right away.
- Hire an attorney. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your workplace accident, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to advise you on your rights and what steps need to be taken in order to ensure you receive the benefits owed to you.
If you have suffered a workplace injury and aren’t sure how to proceed, contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our experienced Oklahoma workers’ compensation attorneys will go over your case with you and make sure you have taken all the right steps to ensure you receive benefits for all damages.