Injured at Work: What to Do Next

No one wants to be injured at work, or anywhere else for that matter. Additionally, getting injured while on the job is the last thing many of us think about. This is particularly true if we happen to have one of those jobs (like a sedentary desk job) where getting injured seems highly unlikely.

Still, getting injured at work happens, and it happens more often than we think, even in those places we deem least likely.

The truth is, being injured on the job is an eventuality we would be wise to prepare for, or at the very least know what to do if and when it does happen. Below we explore some useful options in the event that there is an injury at work.

The Nature of Work Injuries

The first step to take after getting injured at work is to understand the nature of work injuries. This includes understanding how your injuries have come about and which kinds are covered by workers compensation in Iowa and elsewhere.

Getting injured at work can happen in one of two ways. Either there is a one-off event that has led to your getting hurt, or there is an injury due to repeated exposure to circumstances, situations, and experiences that leads to injury over time.

Examples of the latter include losing one’s hearing over time on account of working in a loud environment or hurting your hand from having to do a specific action or task repeatedly. Importantly, some psychological issues resulting from work-related stresses are covered.

Three Important Steps to Take if You Get Injured at Work

1. Inform Your Employer

Naturally, you cannot be compensated for injuries that your employer does not know about. It is recommended that you report any injuries you sustained on the job to your supervisor or manager immediately and do so formally in writing. Also, ensure that any responses to your condition and/or complaint by your employer are also put in writing. The paper trail will come in handy should there be any legal disputes.

2. Seek Professional Care

Of course, any condition that is medical in nature needs to be diagnosed by a trained medical professional. Injuries caused by your job are no different. A professional medical diagnosis will also help to ensure that you have a leg to stand on should you make a work comp claim.

3. File a Compensation Claim

Chances are, your city or state has a workers compensation court or industrial court where work injuries can be filed. To protect your rights, ensure that you start the process of filing a claim there as soon as is possible. Importantly, you have the legal right to appeal any decisions by your employer, employer’s insurance company, or workers compensation court that you may not agree with.

What You Should Know About Compensation and Benefits

The kinds of benefits and/or compensation that can be received from work injury claims are dependent on a few variables, including the coverage offered by your employer and employer’s insurance company.

The nature of your injury will also be a determining factor in the kind of compensation and/or benefits you may enjoy. For example, if your work-related injury stops you from being able to do your usual job, then you may be entitled to disability benefits.

Again, this is why it helps to understand the intricacies of your case and the kinds of benefits and compensation you will be able to benefit from.

Sources

  1. Chapter 1: The Basics of Worker Compensation – http://www.dir.ca.gov/injuredworkerguidebook/chapter1.pdf
  1. New York State Compensation Board – http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/onthejob/OnTheJobInjury.jsp
  2. Workplace Fairness: Its Everyone’s Job – https://www.workplacefairness.org/workers-compensation-what-to-do
  3. Workers Comp in Iowa – http://www.pothitakislaw.com/