If there is one thing that is definite in life, it is that at some time or another we will all suffer some kind of trauma! Whether it be the tragedy of losing a dear family member or a close friend, being involved in a horrific road collision, or being made into the victim of crime. Yes, we all experience it at some point. Many catastrophic situations can be thrown at us during our lifetime, circumstances that knock us down and make us feel like life is unbearable. We learn to cope, pick ourselves up, brush it all off and get on with life. It is in our nature to deal with tragic situations, till the next one arises.
Disaster in the Workplace
However the unlucky few of us can end up in dangerous circumstances, when in what we think is a safe and familiar environment. Disaster can strike and we can suddenly discover our workplace is not the safe haven that we initially thought and we can suffer a terrible accident that knocks us off our feet. So what happens when you find yourself the victim of a workplace accident and what should you do?
When suffering an accident in the workplace it can feel like the end of the world. Your physical health could be jeopardized and your mental well-being may start to deteriorate, due to the physical and emotional pain. You may also find that your finances have begun to plummet, all caused by the injuries inflicted, which of course means you are now unable to carry out work. You may feel like you are under a huge dark and stormy cloud, that you simply cannot escape from.
If you find yourself involved in an accident at work it is crucial that you follow the correct procedure. In doing so, you are protecting your best interests. Here are some important steps to remember.
Report the Accident/Injuries
The first thing you need to do is report the incident. Inform the line manager on shift immediately, they can assist you in any first aid you may require or call for medical assistance if needed. Make sure to record the accident and your injuries in the company’s accident book and notify your manager you need a copy of the report. In doing so, if your injuries are more serious than first anticipated then you have the evidence needed that the injuries were sustained in the workplace. If the need to seek medical assistance does arise, then be sure to acquire the relevant paperwork to prove that the accident has caused you harm. For instance, keep hold of any prescriptions or medical receipts that you have had to cover due to the injuries sustained.
Gather Any Witness Statements
Seek out all work colleagues who witnessed the accident and ask them to provide a statement. These witness statements are vital and should be taken at the time of the accident as they are classed as crucial evidence. If your accident was caused due to the negligence of your employer, then this evidence can really aid your case in being successful. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible.
Take Photo Evidence Of the Injuries
It is imperative to take pictures of the injuries sustained within the workplace accident. After all, if it comes to where you must provide evidence for any future claims then remember a picture never lies! Be sure to provide dates when the images were taken, then if your employer tries to deny the accident happened or attempts to cover it up, you have hard evidence to back it up!
Seek Professional Representation
Claims for accidents in the workplace can be extremely complicated and complexed. The paperwork by itself can cause an enormous headache. Having an experienced work injury lawyer on hand can give you much-needed guidance and support throughout the whole process. They will work hard to ensure everything is dealt with in the correct manner, handling the stacks of confusing paperwork on your behalf, dedicating themselves to getting you the compensation deserved, and will also be the rock you need beside you when attending court.
Record All Expenses and Losses
The chances are if you have been severely injured at work, then you are going to be unfit for any duties for a significant amount of time, which results in your finances taking a hard hit! For instance keep a record of all lost wages, mental or physical damages, and all medical and prescription charges. If you are planning on starting a claim for compensation then having this information at hand is vital.
Yes, being involved in an accident at work can be life-shattering, it can happen to anyone at any time. Enduring the physical trauma, emotional turmoil and the stress of finances can be crippling. However if unfortunately, you do find yourself in a disastrous workplace accident, be sure to take all the correct steps above to ensure your best interests are taken care of.