What is a Workplace Injury?
A workplace injury refers to any physical harm or medical condition that occurs as a result of the tasks performed within the scope of employment.  They can happen in various work environments, such as:
- Construction sites
- During business travel
Common work-related injuries include slips and falls, musculoskeletal injuries from lifting heavy objects, repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, and being struck by objects or machinery.
What to Do After a Work Injury
After experiencing a workplace injury, take the following steps to ensure your well-being and protect your rights.
- Seek Medical Attention Immediately
After a workplace injury, you need to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Prompt medical care not only ensures your well-being but also helps in accurately documenting the details of the injury.
Inform the doctor about all aspects of the incident, including the cause, nature of the injury, and any related symptoms. These medical records are important for any future compensation claims or legal proceedings.
- Notify the Employer About Injury
One of the first steps to take after a workplace injury is to notify the employer. Report the incident as soon as possible, both verbally and in writing. By promptly informing the employer, you can ensure that the necessary documentation and procedures are initiated promptly.
When reporting the injury, provide all relevant details regarding the incident, such as the date, time, and location. Make sure to explain the cause of the injury, the nature of the injury, and any immediate symptoms or pain they are experiencing.
Fault is not a determining factor when it comes to workers’ compensation coverage, so individuals need to be honest and transparent about what happened.
- File an Insurance Claim
In most cases, it is the responsibility of your employer to submit the claim. They should have the necessary forms and information to initiate the process.
You must be aware of the Statute of Limitations for filing a claim. Each state sets its own time limit, typically ranging from a few months to a couple of years, within which the victim must file their claim. Failing to meet this deadline may result in the denial of your claim.
- Contact a Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Whether it’s a minor injury or a more serious work-related accident, contacting a compensation law firm can help navigate the workers’ compensation process.
They specialize in protecting the rights of injured workers and ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve.
Gathering Evidence and Documentation Related to the Injury
After experiencing a workplace injury, you must gather evidence and documentation to support your compensation claim. Here are the steps to take:
- Collecting Witness Statements: Speak to any witnesses who saw the accident or can provide information about the conditions leading up to it. Their statements can strengthen the case and provide additional evidence.
- Documenting the Accident: Write down all relevant details about the incident, including the exact location, date, time, and what the injured worker was doing at the time. Victims must be as specific and accurate as possible.
- Gathering Photos and Videos: Any visual evidence, such as pictures of the injuries or the scene, can significantly support their claim. Taking photographs of visible injuries, damaged equipment, or hazardous conditions that contributed to the accident.
- Returning to the Scene: You should revisit the site of the accident to collect evidence before any changes occur. This can include taking photographs or videos of the area, equipment involved, or any unsafe conditions present.
- Seeking Medical Evidence: Obtaining documentation from healthcare professionals regarding the victim’s injuries. This can include medical records, diagnoses, treatment plans, and any other relevant healthcare documentation. If necessary, consider seeking a second medical opinion to further establish the extent of their injuries.
After a workplace injury, keep track of the time lost from work and the expenses incurred due to the injury. Here are some steps to follow:
- Document Medical Treatments: Maintain a record of all medical treatments you receive related to your workplace injury. This should include doctor’s appointments, surgeries, therapies, and any other procedures undergone.
- Record Doctor’s Appointments: Document all visits to healthcare providers, including primary care physicians, specialists, and therapists. Make a note of the dates, the purpose of the visits, and any diagnostic tests performed.
- Record Missed Work Days: Keep a detailed log of the days you are unable to work due to your injury. Note the dates, the number of hours missed, and any wages lost.
- Track prescribed medications: Keep track of all medications prescribed to you for your injury. Note the names of the medications, dosages, and the duration for which they were prescribed.
- Track Travel Expenses: If you need to travel for medical care, record the expenses incurred. This may include mileage, parking fees, public transportation costs, and other travel-related expenses.
By diligently tracking time lost from work and recording expenses, you can ensure accurate compensation claims and coverage for medical costs. This documentation will also serve as evidence should legal action be necessary.
 Information, D. O. W. C. I. W. (n.d.). DWC – I was injured at work. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/injuredworker.htm