Every job in the world comes with a risk, but this risk is increased in some areas of work. No matter what job you are in, there is always the risk that you could end up being injured. Sustaining an injury at work can be a hard time and a difficult thing to wrap your head around.
If you become injured during your own time there is nobody to blame. But if you get an injury at work, there is a whole process that you have to go through. It is your employer’s job to ensure that you are safe while you work, so if you become injured when at work it is on their backs.
Due to this, you have to report any injuries that you sustain during working hours to your employer. This can be a hard and confusing time, especially if the injuries that you have sustained are serious.
You may find yourself not wanting to be a burden to your employer, and balancing the injury and the emotional toll that it takes can be difficult.
This isn’t made any easier by the fact that most people do not know what they should do after becoming injured at work. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide together to explain everything that you need to know about reporting an injury to your employers.
What is an Accident at Work?
Every employment contract will include a clause which looks at accident and injury which is sustained during working hours.
In most States, an accident at work will be defined as ‘an event that results in injury or ill health’ and covers a lot of different circumstances that could cause injury or accident to occur while you work.
If you work in an office job this could cover something as small as tripping on a loose wire or burning your hand using the coffee machine. Whereas, in manual jobs, the risk of injury is much greater, and the injuries that you could sustain are a lot more serious.
It is your employer’s responsibility to look after the health and wellbeing of their members of staff. Under this, it is your employer’s responsibility to look into the circumstances surrounding your injury.
If it can be determined that your injury was caused by negligence on your employer’s behalf, you could be entitled to a substantial sum of money in compensation.
In some jobs, your employer’s duty of care might include providing health and safety information or training on how to use different machines. In other jobs, this might include the steady supply of PPE to their employees or the use of appropriate hazard signs in areas of danger.
If your employer has failed in their duty of care, the injury that you have sustained is their responsibility and you can put a claim in against your employer.
This can be a confusing time and might feel morally wrong, but if your quality of life has been affected by the injury (even in the short term) it is your employer’s responsibility to compensate for this.
What to do Following an Injury at Work
Every employer has to have compensation insurance for their employees, so if you have become injured at work and find yourself unable to continue your job, you can put in a claim for these benefits.
If you believe that the injury that you have sustained could have been avoided has your employer not been negligent, you might have grounds for a claim.
So let’s take a look at what you should do following an injury at work. Of course, please note that this might differ depending on the severity of your injury.
Once you have sustained an injury at work, you should consult with a doctor. Ideally, you should do this as soon as possible because claims are usually time-sensitive in most States.
If the injury is serious, you should visit the Emergency room and get treated immediately. If the injury is less serious you should consult with your employer and visit a doctor when convenient.
Depending on insurance, your employer may suggest you visit a specific doctor. If this happens and you are unhappy with the treatment that you received, you may be entitled to a second doctor’s visit under the workers’ compensation laws in your State.
It is then up to your employer to file a claim against their insurance on your behalf. If you are an employee in a large company, it is likely that the necessary people will not be aware that you have become injured.
In this situation, it is your responsibility to notify your boss of your injury so that they can file the claim. You must do this as soon as possible as these claims are incredibly time-sensitive.
Once the claim has been filed, it is then recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in worker’s compensation.
They will be able to tell you what benefits you could receive from a claim and can advise you in the situation. Especially if your employer is being quite tricky about the whole situation.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Injury at Work?
We have mentioned that filing a claim with your employer is a time-sensitive thing. But let’s take a look at how quickly you should file a claim. Once again, please note that the time that you have to file a claim may differ from State to State.
It will also likely differ depending on the severity of your injury. In general, you should notify your employer of your injury and your wish to file a claim within 48 hours of the injury occurring.
This gives you ample time to consult with a doctor before filing the claim. However, some employers are more lenient and will give you up to 5 days to file a claim. Generally, you should file a claim as soon as possible after the injury to ensure you are not let down due to time limits.
In short, you should report an injury at work as soon as possible after it occurs.
You must keep your employer fully informed if you sustain an injury, especially if you plan on filing a compensation claim against them.
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