Suffering from a workplace injury can have major consequences on your life. It doesn’t matter what the nature of your job is; your employer is obligated to give you all of your rights if you are injured at work, whether you are a full-timer, a part-timer, or a freelancer.
That being said, you should understand your rights first before asking for them to make sure that you stand on solid ground. That’s why we are here. Because, in the heat of the moment, you may unwittingly give away your rights, we have assembled a list of the rights you need to claim should you ever be involved in an accident at your workplace.
Financial Compensation for Medical Expenses
After an injury, you should look for the first aid kit or go to the workplace clinic if the company offers one. However, sometimes that won’t be enough, and you will have to go to a hospital for a full medical checkup. Your treatment may require some cash, but you shouldn’t be the one to pay. Your employer or the insurance company that your workplace deals with should pay for your medical bills and any future treatment that you will need as a result of this accident. Moreover, your boss will be obligated to let you go to your appointments if you are still receiving treatment after you return to work without deducting money from your salary.
You have every right to seek compensation, and you shouldn’t shy away just because you are still working in the same place you were injured. You should file a complaint to your employer and the business owner as soon as possible after an accident if they were the ones responsible for the accident. In that case, you can prove their negligence by taking photographs, interviewing witnesses, and looking into the history of the workplace.
If your pain and discomfort were dismissed, you should seek legal assistance. Luckily, you can find good representation if you live in Clarke County, as pretty much every personal injury lawyer Athens will be familiar with workplace accidents and how to deal with him. That being said, you need to look for an experienced lawyer who cares about you as a person instead of looking at you as just another case. In any case, you shouldn’t face your employer’s defendants without an attorney because they can easily overwhelm you with complicated legal terms and twist your words against you to try and make you drop the case.
Sick pay is a benefit offered by most companies. However, some of them will grant you some time-off but without paying you. In case your sickness or injury is because of a workplace accident, your day-offs must be paid because the company is the one responsible for your incapacitation. You should make use of that because taking some time off will aid in your recovery. Sometimes, your employer will give you an ultimatum: to either come back to work or hand in your resignation letter. This is completely unacceptable, and you should notify your attorney to take legal action immediately if that happens.
Industrial Injury Benefits
Sometimes, the accident is so severe that you may suffer from a disability or a chronic health condition. You will have the right to claim Industrial Injury benefits to support you if you can no longer work. The amount of money you will receive depends on the extent of your disability and how much it has affected your life. It also depends on your previous salary and your current one, which is likely to be a lot less because of the incident.
When you are cleared to go back to work, your manager should understand that you are still recovering. Accordingly, you should be relieved of any heavy duties and assigned lighter ones until you recover completely. It doesn’t matter if you are suffering physically or mentally; you will need time to heal either way. For instance, if you work in carrying heavy items, your injury may prevent you from doing that, so you can do office work until you completely recover. Moreover, you shouldn’t be put under stressful conditions until you heal from the emotional trauma caused by the accident. That doesn’t mean that your salary should be cut because it is not your fault that you were injured.
Suffering from any kind of injury is painful, costly, and traumatic, not to mention that it can force you to change your whole lifestyle. You may find yourself unable to work the same job you did before because of the accident, which, in turn, will affect your income and quality of life. You need to know your rights and demand them confidently because you deserve to be compensated for your physical pain, financial losses, and mental anguish.