What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt on the Job

An injury on the job can be a very traumatic experience. Missing work leads to lost income, and lost income can create a financial crisis in your life. As such, any time you get hurt on the job, it can definitely create a snowball effect of unfortunate events. For instance, it’s not just money that you need to consider when it comes to getting hurt on the job. You also have to think of your mental and emotional health, as well the health of your dependents if you have any. With that in mind, there’s plenty to consider when you’re faced with an injury. Here’s some advice on what to do if you’ve been hurt on the job:

Tell Your Supervisor

There are many situations where employees do not feel their injuries warrant notifying the supervisor. However, it’s very important to tell your superior about the incident, because you never know how serious it can become later. Some issues can stem from a workplace-related injury and although you may not notice at first, it can worsen over time.

For example, if you work in a warehouse and recently hurt your back lifting up a box, “taking it easy” for the rest of the day will probably not cure increasingly worsening ailments in your back. It’s important that you not only tell your supervisor about the incident, but get a report in writing.

Talk to a Lawyer

Many employees are unaware of some of their rights as workers, and should talk to a lawyer to discuss the right, legal way they should be treated after an injury—especially if their claim for workers compensation has been disputed.

“Far too often, workers are taken advantage of because they aren’t given the proper direction,” says Todd D. Beauregard Law, a workers compensation lawyer. “For example, many people don’t realize that if they don’t report an injury—however small—to their employer right away, they could lose their rights to worker’s compensation benefits.”

Of course, there are some injury cases where a lawyer may not be necessary, and no identifiable damages have occurred. However, it doesn’t hurt to arrange a consultation with a lawyer to help you understand if you do, in fact, need legal representation. A lawyer can help you analyze the incident to determine if any long-term effects or hidden injuries are possible.

Submit a Claim for Workers’ Compensation

In most cases, you have two years from the date of the injury to submit a claim for lost time. Workers compensation, in layman’s terms, is a form of insurance that employees pay. This insurance provides financial assistance to any employee who is hurt on the job and is temporarily unable to continue working. The filing process can be fairly complex for someone who’s never been in this position, but it’s necessary to ensure you’re able to pay your bills while you’re out of work.

You can obtain a workers’ compensation claim form through your job, or online. However, in addition to the form, you’ll need to be examined by a doctor, who will verify what injuries you’ve sustained during the accident. The doctor will complete another form based on the finding, and send it the agency on your behalf.

Finally, there’s a review process where the state reviews your claim and contacts your employer. At this time, the employer may dispute the claim or accept it. If the claim has been disputed, both parties will have an opportunity to make a case for themselves (in this case, you’ll likely need a lawyer).

Talk to a Therapist

It’s not uncommon for workers who have sustained injuries on the job to begin to feel lost, lonely, worthless, and even experience harsh bouts of anxiety. After all, all types of workplace injuries can seemingly displace your whole life. For this reason, it’s natural to feel depression, and it’s best to talk to a therapist about the way you’re feeling. These feelings of worthlessness don’t have to define you, and there are plenty of realistic ways to cope with it. A therapist can teach you how to handle high-stress situations in your life without letting it overtake you.

Get Into A Hobby

While you’re not working, it’s easy to fall into a complacent hole. To avoid feeling depressed by this newfound stillness in your life, consider taking up a new hobby that aligns with your injury. For example, if you’re injured your back, when not start penning short stories and take a writing class? Or get into pottery making? Learn how to play an instrument? Conversely, if you’ve injured your hands, start practicing meditation or taking singing lessons.

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