Avoiding the pain: 5 things you should do if you are injured at work
At one time or another, we are all guilty of taking our health for granted. But illnesses and accidents can happen, and your entire financial situation, lifestyle, and future plans can change irrevocably in an instant.
So what happens to your future if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a workplace accident?
As frightening as this situation is, there are things you can do to make your life easier and improve your circumstances if you or a loved one has been injured at work.
Here are five steps you can take:
1. Seek medical advice
Seek medical attention and treatment as soon as possible after the incident has taken place. Even if you do not consider that your injuries are particularly serious, it is still important to get yourself checked out. Not only can this help prevent any further damage from taking place, but it is also more likely that injuries you might not be aware of will be identified.
2. Notify your employer
To make sure that you are not excluded from the right to make a compensation claim down the track, it is important that you follow all procedural steps required of you. This includes notifying your employer – in writing – of your injury as soon as possible after the incident. If it is not recorded in your employer's register of injuries within a prescribed timeframe, then you may not be entitled to pursue your compensation claim.
3. Keep your own records
It is important that you maintain detailed records of everything related to your injury. This includes notes of telephone conversations with your employer, a calendar of time taken off work, dates on which you attended medical appointments, notes as to when certain symptoms appeared, and possibly a description of what you are no longer able to do.
Don't forget to record details of the actual injury as well, including date, time, and place. Not only will this make it easier for the insurer and your employer to process your claim, but as some claims may take a number of years to be finalised, it will be important to have easy access to details down the track.
4. Don't forget the paper trail
A big component of making a worker’s compensation claim is complying with requisite procedures. This includes completing prescribed forms, such as a Certificate of Capacity or a Worker's Injury Claim Form. Don't let your claim become invalid because you have failed to stick to procedural requirements.
5. Obtain advice from a personal injury lawyer
Workplace injury law can be a complicated and process-driven field. Obtaining advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury can help make sure that you are aware of your rights, including how much compensation you may be entitled to, and any obligations that you need to fulfill in order to secure your compensation.
Suffering an injury at your workplace is unquestionably an unfortunate and devastating possibility, particularly for those in physically intensive jobs. If the worst does happen, it is always good to be aware of your legal rights to pursue a claim and compensation, so that you and your family can focus on your speedy recovery.
Chantille Khoury is a Principal at Law Partners, a trusted specialist personal injury law firm that specialises in motor vehicle accident, workers compensation, superannuation/total and permanent disability and public liability claims.
Chantille has been a solicitor for over a decade and has helped thousands of people who have suffered personal injury access entitlements that make a difference to their quality of life.Website: www.lawpartners.com.au