Workplace injuries can be difficult for any worker, as your actions immediately after the incident and during recovery can have a long term impact on your future employment. If you are injured on the job, it is important to know your rights and take the necessary steps to ensure you and your family are protected financially should your recovery not go as well as it should.
The most prudent advice would be to contact workplace injury lawyers such as Patinos Personal Lawyers to discuss your situation and the possibility of making a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind if you hurt yourself at work.
Report your accident immediately
As soon as you hurt yourself at work, report the incident to your supervisor or relevant workplace safety representative as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if you think the injury is minor. While some injuries might seem insignificant at the time, they can flare up later to become more permanent. If there is a lengthy delay between the accident and when you report it, there could later be questions over your claim.
Obtain and keep medical documentation
The second important thing to do is seek medical advice and written documentation from your doctor on the extent of the injury, therapy, and recovery prognosis. This can be used to determine the extent of the injury at the time of the accident, and if there may be long-term medical support needed for your recovery.
Make a WorkCover claim
Your injury might entitle you to claim financial support from your state’s workers’ compensation scheme. This could involve a ‘statutory claim’ where the authorities will cover medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as 85 per cent of your normal weekly wage for a set period. If you are still recovering when the set payment period elapses, you could submit a ‘common law claim’ for a lump-sum compensation payout. It is important to obtain legal advice when going through the claim process.
Keep an eye on the time
You must lodge any claim within six months of the accident or injury. It is important that you get the process underway as quickly as possible in a bid to address any issues that might arise as a result of your employer disputing your claim.
A managed return
Once you are ready to go back to work, you’ll need to be aware of your rights and the obligations of your employer to ensure you are protected from further injury and are reintroduced into the workplace in an appropriate and safe manner. Once again, if you’re unsure of your rights and your employer’s responsibilities, seek legal advice.
Injuring yourself at work can be traumatic and, not handled correctly, can leave you and your family struggling financially. Getting the correct support while you recover is not only important for you and your family’s financial stability, it can play a major role in returning you to an active lifestyle, and rebuilding your confidence and self-esteem.