Long working hours, lifting heavy objects daily, increasing workload, conflicts at the workplace, and job insecurity are some causes of work-related stress injuries. These injuries directly affect the workflow, decrease overall performance, and trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety. According to federal law, employees can make an injury claim against their employer who fails to implement the safety standards that ultimately result in a stress-related injury. Here is a 6-step guide you can follow if you experience an injury to be able to make a successful injury claim.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Immediately contact your doctor and discuss with them the nature of your injury. Your wellbeing should always be the top priority so schedule an appointment as soon as possible for a complete medical examination. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the necessary first-aid as well as the appropriate medical attention if the injury is serious. Going to a doctor, evaluating your condition, and documenting the incident are always useful in making a claim. For example, if you visit a GP immediately after a work-related injury due to a slip fall, the doctor will maintain the medical record and enlist the fall as the cause of your presenting symptoms. However, if you visit your doctor to seek medical treatment for the injury after a few days, the cause might not be listed as related to the workplace. Still, make your health and wellness a priority to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
2. Gather Evidence
After you have sought medical attention, aim to gather photo or video evidence to prove that the claim you are making is valid. The most trusted evidence can be the CCTV footage of the accident site so secure the footage early. As most companies don’t maintain a daily video archive, the lawyers and trial attorneys at Wilson Law Group, LLC sighted the importance of gathering evidence ahead as it will make a stronger claim against the employer. If you are unable to procure footage, taking photos will also work but ensure that the photo or video can show a clear picture of the incident.
3. Fill the Handbook
Companies maintain a handbook containing the record of any work-related accident that occurs on the premises. Each employer has to ensure that they have a record handbook readily available under these circumstances. The things you must record include the following.
- Date, time, and location of the workplace injury.
- The names of co-workers involved in the accident, if any, including the eye-witnesses.
- The exact scenario that led to the accident.
- A detailed account of the surroundings and the problems which ultimately led to an injury.
Reviewing the information after completion will give you the chance of correcting any mistake or let you add relevant information that you might recall afterward. Workplaces with a lot of employees have a health representative that can be contacted to keep a record of the accident and help you through the process.
4. Find a Witness
In case you fail to gather enough evidence, you can contact a co-worker to report the incident as an eyewitness if they are willing to cooperate. However, you may find that most employees are reluctant to speak against the employer. Although for those who agree as a witness, write down their contact information so that you can contact them at a later date.
5. Personal Account
Keeping a record and writing down the incident in a personal notebook will also help in recalling the incident after a few days. Giving conflicting remarks in your court hearings can affect your injury claim negatively, so stay consistent in what you say and keep a personal account of the accident.
6. Consult with Professionals
Contacting law firms or attorneys specializing in work-related injury claims can greatly benefit you if you feel overwhelmed by the documentation process. All you need to make sure of is that the lawyer you choose has the right expertise to deal with the cases and guide you to pursue a legal claim to eliminate stress. As there are a lot of law firms providing their services, look at each option to be able to choose the firm that suits you the best. Most lawyers and attorneys offer free consultancy for the first visit so contacting the available options and discussing the case with them can easily help in deciding whether you are comfortable moving forward with the firm or not. A reliable lawyer will guide you through the roadmap, explain the possible outcomes in detail, and will ensure that you get full compensation for your claim.
Following the above-mentioned steps will prepare you for pursuing a work-related accident. These cover related information but it is best to read the relevant state laws so that you can have a better idea of the rights and possible outcomes of the claim.