Injured at Work? Here’s What You Should Do Next
Regardless of where you work and what your job is, it’s usually possible to be injured at work. Workplace accidents do happen, and they are more common than most people realize. It’s crucial that workers and their loved ones are educated on their rights as well as what to do if injured in a workplace accident.
Employers are legally required to provide a safe workplace for their employees along with safety training. When employers ignore their responsibility to keep workers safe, they are failing employees and increasing the chances of a serious injury on the job. Workers injured on the job must take action. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide employees with:
- Training in a language they understand
- Work on machines that are safe
- Required safety gear, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls
- Protection from toxic chemicals
- The ability to request an OSHA inspection and speak to the inspector
- The ability to report an injury or illness and get copies of medical records
- Copies of the workplace injury and illness log
- Records of work-related injuries and illnesses
- Copies of test results conducted in order to identify workplace hazards
Federal law protects workers from facing retaliation by employers, so workers can raise concerns for their own safety without fear of being fired. When a worker is injured on the job, it’s important that they take the following steps:
Seek Medical Treatment
First and foremost, anyone injured on the job should seek appropriate medical treatment for his or her injuries. While your employer may require you to see a company doctor for treatment, if you believe that provider’s care is inadequate, you should seek further medical advice from a qualified medical professional.
Report Incident to Employer
After receiving proper medical care, an injured employee should notify their employer of the incident in writing via email, document, text message, or any acceptable form of communication. Texas workers only have 30 days from the date of an incident to report it.
File a Claim
The process of reporting an injury and processing the associated claim can be complex and frustrating, whether dealing with workers’ compensation or not. It’s important that the injured employee have the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure adequate compensation for wage loss, medical bills, and other damages suffered.
In the event the employer subscribes to workers’ compensation coverage, after reporting an accident, the Texas Department of Insurance will send a packet containing the following items needed to process the claim:
- Notice of injury letter
- DWC Form-041 – Employee’s claim for compensation for a work-related injury or occupational disease
- List of injured employee rights and responsibilities
- Return-to-work information
- Injured employee checklist
Houston Workplace Accident Attorney
The time after suffering an injury at work can be just as painful as the incident itself. Injured employees are often left wondering if they will be able to return to work, how they will pay their bills, and more stressful scenarios that take their focus away from healing. No injured worker should have to face a company lawyer or an insurance adjuster alone. If you or a loved one was injured on the job, you may be entitled to financial compensation. There is limited time to act following an accident, so contact us today for a free and confidential case consultation.