What You Should Do Following a Workplace Accident

It doesn’t matter how safe your workplace is, how careful you are, or how much of a priority safety is to your leaders. There’s still a chance you could suffer a workplace injury. Workplace accidents are somewhat common, and there’s no way to reduce their occurrence rate to zero.

What you can control, however, is how you respond to a workplace accident, should one occur. Your actions in the following hours, and days, may have a huge impact on both your physical and financial recovery.

In the Immediate Aftermath

In the moments and hours following an accident, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Get to safety. Your first and most important priority is to get yourself to safety immediately. If you’ve been injured by a machine, or because of a workplace hazard, there’s a chance you could injure yourself further, or even injure other people, if you remain in place. Instead, if you’re capable of moving, get to a place you know is safe.
  • Help others. If you’re able to move without injuring yourself further and there are other people at the scene of the accident, do what you can to help them, too. Any effort you make to reduce harm to yourself and others will be worth it.
  • Call for emergency medical help (if necessary). It’s a good idea to contact emergency services at this point, unless you’re sure you’re not seriously hurt. If you’re having difficulty moving, if you feel significant pain, or if you’re bleeding, you’ll need to get immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t feel significantly hurt, there’s a chance that adrenaline is masking your pain – it’s still important to be checked out by a medical professional, even if you don’t have to call an ambulance.
  • Report the accident to a supervisor. No matter what your current plans are or how badly you’re injured, it’s important to report your workplace accident to your immediate supervisor. Your employer may require you to do this, and you might even be required by law to report your accident. Even if you’re not, reporting the accident can expedite the investigation process, help you get the medical care you need, lead to future safety improvements, and serve as official documentation for what happened.
  • Increase safety in the accident area. If possible, work with others to make a plan to improve safety in the area where you injured yourself. What could have changed to prevent or lessen the damage done in this accident? Can you put up a new sign? Can you add protective barriers? Can you enforce a new policy?
  • Gather evidence. If you have time, do what you can to gather evidence of what happened leading up to the accident. The workplace accident report filled out by your supervisor will function as an “official” record, but it still pays to have other forms of evidence on your side. Take photos and videos of the scene and see if you can grab security footage of the accident. You may also want to talk to eyewitnesses who saw the accident unfold – and get them to comment on what they saw.
  • Get medical attention. Make an appointment with a healthcare provider if you didn’t need emergency medical care. It’s important to get medical treatment for any injuries you might have sustained.

In the Days That Follow

In the days that follow the accident, focus on the following:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice. Document all your medical appointments and follow your healthcare providers’ advice to the letter. It’s important to follow these procedures correctly if you want to eventually win compensation for this injury.
  • Talk to a lawyer. You have options for getting compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Depending on the circumstances of how you were injured, you may want to file a lawsuit against your employer. Talk to a lawyer before making any decisions; they’ll help you evaluate your potential case and discuss your options with you.
  • Consider filing for workers’ compensation. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to take advantage of workers’ comp insurance. Workers’ comp exists to provide compensation to employees hurt on the job, no matter who is at fault. However, if you take workers’ comp compensation, you’ll typically forfeit your right to file suit; understand your options before you make a decision.
  • Consider filing a lawsuit. If your employer or one of your fellow employees was at fault for your injury, filing a lawsuit might be your best option. Again, it’s best to trust the advice of a qualified legal professional before making this decision.

In the Weeks That Follow

After that, you’ll want to take these steps:

  • Prioritize your physical recovery. Do whatever you can to expedite your physical recovery. That means attending your follow-up appointments, doing physical therapy, and following your doctor’s advice.
  • Get therapy. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues as a result of your accident, therapy may be beneficial. Simply talking to a professional can help you cope with the trauma of your accident and get back to normal.
  • Carefully manage your expenses. You might be expecting compensation in the future at some point, but it can take weeks to months to get that money. In the meantime, you’ll need to carefully manage your expenses.
  • Consider a settlement loan. If you can’t wait for your settlement money, a settlement loan can tide you over. With the right provider, you’ll owe a fixed fee instead of interest, and you won’t owe anything if you don’t win a settlement.
  • Push for workplace changes. If you want to change your workplace for the better, you can use your accident as motivation to make positive workplace changes – such as instituting better safety measures.

Are you currently waiting on a settlement for your workplace injury? Are you having trouble paying for all your expenses in the aftermath of your accident? Apply for a settlement loan today, or contact us for more information!