No one expects to get sick or injured on the job, but unfortunately it does happen. In these scenarios, people need to know their legal rights and understand the implications of medically-assisted treatment.
If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer a dangerous health issue as a result of your work, it’s essential to take action right away. In this article, we’ll discuss 8 important things you need to do in order to protect yourself and get the help you need.
1. Tell Someone At Work
It’s important to tell someone at work immediately, whether it’s your supervisor, manager or a member of your Human Resources department. By doing this, you’ll be creating a paper trail in case you need to file for workers’ compensation or take legal action against your employer.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to go to the hospital or see your doctor immediately. In that case, you should tell someone at work as soon as you can, so they’re aware of the situation and can take appropriate action. If you delay telling someone, it may be more difficult to prove that your condition was caused by your job. If you’re injured, for instance, your employer could claim the accident occurred elsewhere and at another time.
2. Identify What Happened And Why
This will help you understand your rights and what you need to do next. Your employer could be at fault if there were health and safety breaches, such as:
- not providing the right equipment
- providing faulty equipment
- not carrying out risk assessments
- failing to provide training
- allowing lose cables across the floor, not repairing damaged stairs, storing boxes on top of cupboards, leaving drawers open
If you were exposed to a hazardous material at work, you’d need to know what that material was and how it made its way into your workplace. The herbicide Paraquat Dichloride is banned in the EU and across the world, but not in the U.S. As a result, Paraquat has not been banned in commercial applications even though it can cause toxic symptoms and has been connected to Parkinson’s Disease. There are ways to use these products safely and procedures for dealing with spills, and these should always be followed.
3. Seek Medical Help
You should see a doctor or go to the hospital as soon as possible to get the treatment you need. There are also legal benefits to doing this, as it can help you prove that your health issue was caused by your job. For instance, if you have to take time off work or file for workers’ compensation, you’ll need a doctor’s note.If a personal injury was sustained during work time, you’ll need to seek medical attention and have this documented. Your medical records, treatment details and diagnosis could all be used as evidence to support your claim for negligence.
4. Get a Second Opinion
In these situations, it’s always wise to get a second opinion from another doctor. This is because some doctors may be more likely to rule that a condition was work-related than others. Additionally, some employers may pressure doctors to not connect the issue to work so they can avoid having to pay for workers’ compensation or other benefits.
Getting a second opinion can ensure that you’re getting an accurate diagnosis and that your employer is held responsible for any conditions that were caused by your job.
5. File a Workers Compensation Claim
If you’re disabled due to a work-related injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a state-authorized insurance program that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a consequence of their job. Benefits can include medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits.
To file a claim, you’ll need to contact your state’s workers’ compensation board and submit a claim form. You’ll need to provide information about your employer, your injury, and your medical treatment. Once your claim is filed, the board will review it and make a determination on whether or not you’re eligible for benefits.
6. Get a Good Lawyer
A worker’s compensation lawyer can help you receive the money you deserve, and they can also help you navigate the worker’s compensation system. This is important because it can be very complicated, and it’s easy to get lost in it. A good lawyer will help you understand the system and make sure that you get the maximum amount of money possible.
Ask around for recommendations, and then take some time to meet with a few different lawyers before making your final decision. Also, check their online reviews before you choose.
7. Apply For Benefits
If you’re suffering from a debilitating health condition that has caused you to miss work, you may be eligible for benefits. Short and long-term disability insurance can provide you with income replacement, while Social Security benefits can provide additional income if you’re unable to return to work.
Be sure to apply for these benefits as soon as possible after your diagnosis. If a lawyer is involved with your case, they can advise you of your options and how to proceed.
8. Keep A Detailed Record Of Everything
It’s important to compile full documentation for everything that’s happening. This means taking note of when the symptoms started, how often they occur, what seems to trigger them, and anything else that might be relevant. This information can be extremely helpful in getting to the bottom of what’s going on and making sure you get the treatment you need. Other information to collect includes:
- doctor’s visits
- time off work
- changes in your daily routine
- the impact on your quality of life
If you follow these 8 tips you’ll be well-placed to get the treatment and financial support that you deserve. A lawyer can advise you on the process from start to finish, and can fight your corner if you meet resistance. As a result, you’ll be able to focus on your health and adjust to the new normal as you move on with your life.