Do you work in the construction, mining, or other industry where there is a high risk of sustaining an injury in the workplace? Have you been injured while at work? If so, how long did it take for you to heal? And, were you able to claim Workers Compensation Insurance to cover the cost of the time off work, and the cost of the physical, emotional, and mental trauma as a result of the injury?
What is Workers Compensation?
Before we look at the steps you must take should you be injured at work, let’s look at a succinct definition of what Workers Compensation Insurance is, and what its purpose is.
Nesri defines Workers Compensation as an insurance fund that pays “injured and ill workers’ medical benefits and wage replacement payments.” The salient point here is that this fund is “financed through insurance premiums paid by employers to insurers.”
Therefore, if you have been injured on duty, you are entitled to claim from Workers Compensation. It is unfortunately important to note that certain groups of workers like farm laborers, domestic workers, small business staff, migrant laborers, and freelancers are excluded from claiming from this fund.
Steps to take when injured on duty
Let’s assume for this article that you have been injured on duty, and because of your job classification and the industry you work in, you are entitled to claim from Workers Compensation. However, the question that must be asked and answered is: How do you go about claiming? In other words, what steps do you follow to submit a successful claim?
Here are the two most important steps that you need to take immediately after sustaining an injury. It should be noted that these steps are not in any particular order:
Seek legal assistance
It is vital to hire a workers comp attorney to manage your claim for you. This is because the application can be fraught with complications. And there are many reasons for these complications. A couple of these reasons are as follows:
- The reality is that sometimes employers do not want workers to claim for injuries incurred while at work. Therefore, there might be threats and attempts at intimidation to dissuade you from claiming.
- Your injury might be life-threatening; therefore, you will not be in the position to claim, and you need an expert to manage your claim on your behalf.
Accordingly, it is far better to approach a legal expert to advise, guide, and manage all aspects of your claim from inception to fruition.
Notify your supervisor and seek first aid
The first thing to do is to seek first aid or on-site medical assistance. Most heavy industries have on-site nursing or clinic staff capable of providing first-line medical support. This medical professional will administer first aid and, depending on the severity of the injury, determine whether you should seek further medical treatment or not.
At the same time, or soon afterwards, you need to notify your supervisor of the incident and the events leading up to the accident. A record needs to be made (and kept) of the circumstances that led to the injury.