If you have been the victim of a work related accident, chances are you are entitled to workers compensation. However, people who are affected by work injuries can run into all sorts of problems, if they don’t realize the injury is bad and they don’t act upon it right away.
As any accidents lawyer will tell you, many US states have a very short period of time in which you must report an accident in order to be covered under workers compensation. This is precisely the reason you really should act as soon as you can and report any incident, even if your injuries are not severe. A thorough report of the incident could cause your employer to implement new safety measures that will prevent an injury from happening to you or someone else in the future.
When can an employee get workers’ compensation?
With worker’s compensation laws in place, the employee won’t have to make proof of the fact that their employer’s negligence has caused the respective injury. In some instances, an employee can get compensated even when the negligence of their employer has caused the accident. There are however situations when the employee’s injuries won’t be covered. One example, if an employee is intoxicated or using illegal drugs at the time of the incident, that employee’s injuries won’t be covered. Because of that, some employers have a policy of requiring employees involved in work place accidents to submit to drug tests.
Who is responsible for health and safety at work?
Your employer has to complete a risk assessment and engage upon actively protecting the health and safety of employees. One of these actions includes deciding what kind of first aid equipment and facilities should be provided. Also, first aiders should be on call, in case of emergencies.
How are accidents recorded?
Any injury at work, minor injuries included, should be recorded in your employer’s special workplace incident ledger, as, according to legal regulations, all employers (with the exception of small companies, must keep such a record. This provides a useful record of what happened and can be used in case you need extra medical attention and time off work or you need proof in a workers’ compensation trial. But recording accidents also helps your employer to see what’s going wrong and take action to stop accidents in future.
The most important thing you can do, as an employee who has been affected by a workplace incident is to start looking for a very good local accidents attorney who can help you get the best workers’ compensation available. And remember: your employer has a duty to protect you and tell you about health and safety issues at the workplace! They are also under legal obligation to report incidents, pay your sick leave compensation and allow you time off because of an accident at work.