Workplace-related injuries are disastrous. Aside from the physical and mental discomfort, you have to deal with a temporary loss of income. Then, there are medical bills to sort out, which can be much more than you can reasonably afford.
According to US law, you are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace, and your employer must provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards. Suffering a workplace accident is grounds to demand workers' compensation. To help you make a compelling case when seeking workers' compensation, do the following immediately after sustaining a workplace injury:
Assess your injury
Workplace injuries often result from contact with objects and equipment and falls, trips, and slips. If any of these is the case, the first step is to examine the injury to determine the gravity and know if immediate hospital treatment is essential.
Here, it's best to be cautious if you're in doubt. Some injuries can appear minor but gradually worsen over time. This is often the case with head injuries, with symptoms taking a while to manifest fully.
Inform a supervisor
As soon as you sustain a workplace injury, you should find a supervisor and inform them of what happened. The supervisor can then assess your rights and provide additional guidance, including the paperwork you must complete.
Seek medical attention
After informing your supervisor, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Failing to seek prompt medical attention can raise doubts about the gravity of the injury, especially if it's hard to detect through medical instruments. Delays can also leave room for the insurance company to argue that you are seeking reimbursements for prior injuries.
Note that depending on the gravity of the injury, your supervisor may refer you to a specific hospital. Ensure to keep records of all medical expenses.
Get a personal injury attorney
Involving a personal injury attorney who is conversant with local Pennsylvania laws can significantly increase your chances of filing a successful claim for workers' compensation. A personal injury attorney can also help you gather evidence essential for a successful claim, including:
Where, how, and when did the accident occur
The names and contact information of witnesses, if any
What you were doing when the accident occurred
Formally report the accident to your employer
This is the beginning of the procedure of filing a workers' compensation claim. Depending on the size of your company, you may need to report the accident to various departments.
Reporting the accident early to your employee and filing a workers' compensation claim is crucial, as Pennsylvania has strict deadlines for reporting workplace injuries.
What happens in cases of third-party liability?
Although workers' compensation covers nearly all workplace accident scenarios, the case is different if there's evidence that a third party was liable for the accident. In this case, you must sue the third party for damages, invalidating your workers' compensation claim.
However, it is up to your attorney to ensure that the third-party damage claims will aptly compensate for the injury and all the earnings of your forgone workers' compensation claim.
Let an experienced personal injury lawyer help you make a successful claim
Not following the right protocols after sustaining a workplace injury in Pennsylvania can seriously affect your ability to make a successful claim and gain adequate compensation. This is why it's important to involve a personal injury attorney to guide you every step of the way. Schedule a free case evaluation today.