What You Need to Do in the Immediate Aftermath of a Work Injury
In Pennsylvania, as in all states, when you have been hurt on the job, you have a right to seek benefits for lost income and medical expenses. You need to be careful, though. If you don’t take the correct steps, you might jeopardize your right to compensation. Here’s a checklist to guide you through the process.
- Report the injury as soon as possible—Don’t worry about whether your employer believes you, questions the seriousness of the accident, or just thinks you’re a complainer. The longer you wait to report the injury, the greater the risk that some intervening accident will occur and your employer will attribute your injuries to that event. It’s a good idea to report an accident even if you don’t perceive any immediate injury. Sometimes it can take a day or two (or even longer) for an injury to fully manifest.
- Get medical attention—Most doctors will tell you that the sooner you seek medical care, the more options you’ll have and the greater the likelihood of a full or maximum medical recovery. If the injury is serious, be willing to be transported to a hospital by ambulance. This isn’t the time to be strong in front of co-workers. Defer to the experience and knowledge of medical professionals. When you receive medical care, ask the doctor to document everything in writing. In addition, be sure to tell medical professionals about everything that’s out of the ordinary. Don’t focus on the obvious—like a broken bone—and neglect to mention the pulled muscle in your back or neck.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, if possible—That includes everything from workplace conditions (oil or substances on the floor, debris, etc.) to your injuries.
- Document the details—Keep notes of everything, from when you notified your employer to who was present at the time of the accident.
- Hire an experienced attorney—The sooner you retain legal counsel, the sooner you’ll have someone gathering and preserving evidence to support your claim.
Contact Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie&Seelaus
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie&Seelaus, we have protectedthe rights of personal injury victimsinPennsylvaniasince 1980, including individuals with wrongful death claims. We offer a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or contact us online.
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