Injured on the Job? What You Must Know About Your Rights
Whether you work in an industry where you must be constantly on the lookout for hazardous conditions and equipment or you are employed within an office atmosphere that appears to be perfectly safe, thousands of people just like you are injured on the job each year. While it makes sense that you are more likely to become injured if your everyday job duties include being around heavy machinery, noxious chemicals or other risky surroundings, even if you work in what appears to be the most benign office environment, the process is the same if you are injured on the job. Your quick, level-headed and prompt action will help ensure that your rights are protected.
First Things First
If you have sustained on injury while you were performing your job duties, you must immediately take the necessary steps to protect both your long- and short-term health. Even if you do not think that your injuries warranted doing so, you should always seek the advice of a trained medical professional. Not only will doing so allow you to get the necessary care to help minimize the effects of your injury, it will provide a valuable timeline — as well as professional knowledge — should you need to go to court to collect damages.
Time is Money
In no other aspect of life is this phrase more poignant then when you have been injured while on the job. If you sustained an injury of some type — whether it is physical, emotional or something else — you must report it as soon as possible. The reasons for doing so are two-prong. Firstly, the quicker you obtain medical care, the more rapidly you can be on the road to recovery. Secondly, nearly all states have a statue of limitations that restricts the responsibility of your employer if you do not report the incident immediately. In many cases, an injury must be reported within 30 days of occurrence in order for your employer to be held responsible.
File a Claim
Every state in the United States has specific laws on their books pertaining to the rights of workers. In order to make a record of your injury — as well as collection of the benefits that are rightfully yours — you must file a claim with the proper agency. Your employer should provide this information for you in order to make the process easier.
If, however, you discover that your employer is being uncooperative about the matter, you can schedule a consultation with an attorney who is well-versed in the area of worker’s rights within your state. By doing so, you will have someone on your side who can give you solid advice while also helping you navigate the system.