Our Blog

4 Legal Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury

Were you injured at your workplace? Are you wondering what steps you need to take to overcome this accident and the losses that followed? A workplace injury can cause devastation throughout a person's life. You could be dealing with physical pain, mental distress, lost income, and the cost of medical services. You will likely be wondering what you need to do to put your life back together after a workplace accident.

Your losses could bring you down for years unless you take steps to get financial compensation for your accident, injuries, suffering, and related losses. Financial compensation could be awarded to you through either a worker's compensation case or a personal injury claim. Which option you should go with will depend on the specifics of your case. Let's discuss the steps you need to take after being injured at work.

4 Legal Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury

Step 1 – Get Medical Help

The first step to take after your workplace accident is to get the medical attention you need as swiftly as possible. Your health is priority number one. Medical treatment could save your life, but even if the injuries aren't life-threatening, timely treatment could help you avoid even more suffering and disability later on. 

It can also start the process of getting financial help for your on-the-job accident. You will need medical evidence later to show that you were hurt at work.

Step 2 – Inform Your Employer

The second step you need to take when injured in a workplace accident is telling your employer. This step is crucial if you are eligible to file a worker's compensation claim.

Different states have different timelines for filing a worker's comp claim. There are also time limits for informing your employer of your accident. In Missouri, you must inform your employer of your injury within thirty days.

Step 3 – Gather Evidence

All legal battles are won using evidence. No one will take you at your word without proof. When filing a worker's compensation claim for a workplace injury, you must show proof that your accident occurred at work. You must also show proof of your injury's seriousness. You must also show medical evidence to prove your injuries.

Workers' compensation insurance could cover you if you can prove your case and could compensate you for lost income and for reasonable medical expenses. If disabled, you could be eligible for disability payments. If your injury at work qualifies you to file a personal injury claim, different laws apply. You could receive compensation for pain and suffering damages as well if you're eligible to file a personal injury claim.

Whether a worker's compensation claim is right for you or a personal injury claim is the way to go, you will need evidence to prove your case. Evidence could include statements from witnesses who saw your accident. They could confirm that your accident occurred at work. Other evidence could include a video of your accident. Photos of the accident scene, or of an object that caused your injury, could be useful. Physical evidence could be used, and medical evidence will be crucial. Don't forget to document everything.

Step 4 – Consider Getting Legal Help

While you could file a worker's compensation claim on your own, there are some good reasons to get help. First of all, if you don't file your claim properly, the insurance company could deny it. This could cause you to miss out on the money you need to survive while you're out of work recovering from your injuries.

Filing a worker's compensation claim can be stressful when you don't know the rules. Plus, you are going through a lot already! You are dealing with physical injuries, pain, mental trauma, and stress: you may need a little help.

Your lawyer can investigate your workplace injury to find out what caused it. They can gather evidence to prove your case. They can handle much of the claim paperwork for you. Your lawyer can deal with insurance companies, so you won't have to feel re-victimized by all of their probing questions.

Workers Compensation vs Personal Injury Claim

If you've been hurt on the job, you may be unsure of whether you should be filing a worker's compensation claim or a personal injury claim. This is not an easy determination to make, and it's a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your case.

Worker's Comp

Most injuries at work will be covered under workers' compensation laws. The good thing about these types of accidents is that it doesn't matter who caused the accident. For instance, if you caused your workplace accident, you could still receive workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation laws cover injured workers regardless of who caused the accident.

Personal Injury

Personal injury claims could be filed for an on-the-job injury in some situations. For example, if you were driving as part of your work duties, you could sue another driver who struck you because they were being negligent.

You could file a personal injury claim if a third-party contractor caused the accident at your workplace. For instance, if you were walking into your office building and were struck on the head by a falling roof tile, you could sue the roofing company.

Finally, in cases of gross negligence on the part of your employer, a personal injury claim could also be permitted. For example, if your employer knew that the building you worked in contained dangerous mold, you could sue if your employer did nothing to correct the situation and you got sick.

Possible Benefits for Filing a Claim

Whether you file a worker's compensation claim or a personal injury claim, there are benefits that come with both options. In addition to getting justice for what happened to you, you could be awarded financial benefits.

For worker's compensation claims, you could receive medical benefits, wage replacement benefits, and disability benefits. Personal injury benefits could include payment of your medical bills and financial losses plus compensation for pain and suffering, mental distress, disability, and lost life enjoyment.

Reach Out to Sullivan Law, LLC

Injuries at work are common. You could be injured at work no matter how careful you are. Sometimes, accidents really are just accidents. You could file a worker's compensation claim to receive money to pay for you to live during the time period in which you can't work.

Personal injury compensation includes pain and suffering, but eligibility is less common for an accident at work Understanding worker's compensation laws and personal injury laws is challenging. You're not a lawyer. But there's no reason you can't get a lawyer's help.

A lawyer can assist you with your entire case from start to finish. They can look at your case to find out whether a personal injury claim or a worker's comp claim is best for your situation. They can collect evidence, put your case together, and deal with insurers. They can even go to court on your behalf if that step is necessary for your situation.

Need to know more? Call Sullivan Law, LLC to get help with your case now.