Did you know that there are over 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries in the United States each year? That means that, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall at work, you’re far from being alone.
With that being said, if you are indeed hurt in a work-related accident, you to make sure that you take care of yourself. Knowing what to do, and what not to do, is especially important if you plan on taking legal action after your accident.
So, how can you make sure that you have a strong workers’ comp case on your hands? And when do you need to contact an attorney to get your claim started? If you’re asking yourself questions like these, wonder no longer, because we’ve got all the answers!
In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide on what to do after being injured at work that you can follow. We’ll help you take care of yourself, as well as build a strong workers’ comp case, so you can make sure that you and your family are safe and secure.
Take Care of Yourself First
We get it. After you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident at work, a lot of things can go through your head. Worrying about your status at work, or how you’re going to pay your bills, is a given.
But if you’re seriously injured, you need to make sure that you and your health are addressed first. If that means that you can’t document as much from the injury scene as you’d like, that’s okay. Your health and your well being are the most important thing.
Even if you don’t feel injured, or that you need to go to the doctor, doing so anyway is more than a good idea. Not only will this help your case should you need to leave work for an extended period of time, but it’ll also confirm that nothing is indeed wrong with your health.
Document the Accident Scene
Ideally, right after you’ve been injured, you can start documenting the injury scene yourself. Sometimes that’s not possible, which means you may need to ask someone at work to do this for you.
Regardless, having your own documentation of the injury scene is very much recommended. Hopefully, your employer is trustworthy and will handle the situation the right way. But, to be safe, having your own documentation is an absolute must.
Also, while the accident is fresh, it’s a good idea to go ahead and document your recollection of the accident. A voice note or video is recommended, that way you can make sure you capture every single detail of what happened.
Start Preserving Evidence Immediately
To piggyback off of that last point, you want to make sure that you start preserving evidence for yourself immediately. Again, don’t rely on your employer to handle this for you. Keep your own documentation of everything for your own records, just in case you need to take legal action down the line.
If you do indeed have to go to the hospital post-accident, make sure that you get a copy of all of your hospital-related records. Also, any expenses that you have due to the accident need to be recorded as well.
Getting a folder together so you can organize your records is recommended. Again, this is an extremely important part of the process, especially if you end up needing to take legal action. So be sure to do document anything and everything you can think of, no matter how trivial.
Find Witnesses and Document Their Stories
Most slip and fall accidents happen around other people. If your accident had witnesses, you need to contact them yourself and get their side of what happened.
The best way to do this is to record your phone calls with the people that saw your accident. Just be sure to get their permission to do so before making a call and getting their side of the story, so you can ensure that it can be used as evidence in court.
Again, don’t rely on your employer to do this for you. Get your own witness statements for your own records, so you can make sure you’re protecting yourself along the way.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney
After you’ve taken care of yourself, and you’ve started to document things, it’s time to reach out to a legal professional for help. Even if you don’t plan on taking legal action, reaching out to an attorney for advice, or to start a dialogue, is worth considering.
A pro tip? Make sure that you find an attorney in your area that has experience dealing with work-related accidents. A workers compensation attorney, for example, will be more familiar with how to handle cases that are similar to yours than just a general attorney.
Also, don’t stress about legal fees along the way. If you’ve been injured, and you’re not being treated fairly, you need to do what you have to do to ensure that you and your family are taken care of.
Stay off of Social Media
Are you someone who enjoys using social media? Do you like to post about what is going on with your life on sites like Facebook and Twitter? If so, make sure that you keep the details of your accident off of social media
Remember, social media websites can be accessed by everyone. So, by posting information related to your case, you can accidentally give your employers some information they need to win your case.
Our advice? Don’t mention anything related to your accident on social media. Keep the details of what is going on, especially when it comes to your legal case, between yourself, your lawyer, and close family members.
Lean on the Help of Others
After a work-related accident, it can be tough to let those around you help you out. But if you’re seriously injured, there’s a good chance that you’re going to need some assistance with the little things in life.
It goes without saying, but it’s more than okay to lean on the help of others during this time. Doing so will not only help you get better faster, but it’ll make sure that you don’t feel alone during the process, too.
Making phone calls to your loved ones for assistance, or asking for someone to get groceries for you, is completely fine. After all, if someone you loved needed you to do the same thing for them, you wouldn’t hesitate.
So, keep that in mind when you have to reach out to others for help for yourself.
Don’t Try to Recover Too Fast
There’s nothing worse than being out of work due to an injury. And wanting to get back up on your feet, sometimes literally, can lead to you trying to recover faster than you need to.
Because of this, it’s important to listen to your doctors and follow their advice closely. Don’t push yourself too hard, be smart, and take your time during the recovery process.
It’s also not a bad idea to take extra care of yourself during this process. Improve your diet, and start drinking more water, so you can help yourself get back to where you want to be faster.
Take Your Time Getting Back to Work
For most people, missing too much time at work isn’t in the cards. After all, even if you’re injured and out of work, the bills are going to continue to come in.
With that in mind, it’s not a good idea to rush back into work. Not only is this a great way to do harm to your physical and mental health, but it can hurt your legal case as well.
The best advice we can give you? Listen to your attorney and follow their suggestions. Don’t go back to work until they suggest that you do so, and they’ll have both your health and your legal needs in mind.
Still Not Sure What to Do After a Slip and Fall at Work?
There’s a lot of things to do and consider after getting injured from a slip and fall at work. Things will happen fast, which is why it’s important to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes along the way.
But if you keep these tips in mind and follow this in-depth guide, you can make sure that both your health and your legal case are in good hands.
Need to start a workers’ comp claim? Looking for more legal advice? Check back with our blog often for more useful information and ideas.