On-the-job injuries happen in so many different ways that it would be impossible to name them all. Workers get hurt in car accidents, in falls from ladders, in falls on the stairs, when using heavy machinery, when using saws or other tools with sharp blades, when struggling to lift heavy loads and in a vast amount of other situations.
This means that an injury does not always look the same in every case. Each worker who gets hurt needs to know what steps to take and what mistakes to avoid. Here are a few of the most common mistakes to keep in mind:
- Trying to walk it off. The first thing you want to do if you get hurt is to seek medical attention. Don’t think you need to prove anything or be tough. Don’t feel bad about asking for medical assistance when you’re on the clock. Do not try to ignore the symptoms and hope they go away. Stop working and get the help you need.
- Not telling their employer soon enough. You need to tell your employer or someone in a position of power at the company that you got injured. Do not put this off. It is best to do it immediately — or as soon as you can, if you got rushed to the hospital. If you can’t do it right away, it’s best to try to tell them within 30 days.
- Waiting for more than two years. The 30-day suggestion above is because you want to make sure your employer knows it happened on the job. If you wait too long, it opens the door for a lot of questions about where you got hurt. That said, you technically get two years to make your report. This starts after you get injured or after you get diagnosed with a work-related disease. Do not wait longer than this or you cannot collect benefits even if you had a right to them.
- Forgetting the details. You probably want to write down as much about the accident as you can. The most important thing to note is the date it occurred. That plays into when your benefits begin. But you also want to note what happened, where you were, why you think it happened, who was with you, what time it was, what job you were doing and all other relevant details.
Avoiding these mistakes is the first step toward setting up a proper workers’ compensation claim. Many workers overlook these issues or accidentally make errors that they can never fix. It can be incredibly costly. Make sure you know what options you have, what steps you need to take and exactly how you should begin.