Workplace injuries are a common occurrence. Whether you work in a more dangerous industry like construction or get injured in an office environment, accidents can happen that lead to you missing time at work. This puts your livelihood at risk if you and your family are dependent on that income.
It is important to know that you can recover from this situation and secure your future. Just because you are unable to work does not mean that you are going to be without any financial support until you are able to return to the job.
Knowing what steps you should take after a workplace injury is crucial to protecting your income and paying the bills. It is also important to focus on your physical recovery at the same time. Here are a few steps to take after a workplace injury in Chicago, IL.
Report the Injury Immediately
Many workers are hesitant to report injuries that have occurred on the job. Sometimes they are worried about being seen as complainers or trying to take advantage of worker’s compensation. But that is why these systems are in place. They protect employees in difficult circumstances. Companies that do not invest in employee care could fall victim to the trend of quiet quitting. Even if you think the injury is minor and will heal overnight, you never know what complications may arise. By reporting the injury through whatever processes are set up, you are getting ahead of the game in case you end up missing work in the future. Plus, if you fail to report the injury in time, you could miss out on receiving worker’s compensation benefits. The best practice is to be safe and report any workplace injuries right away to protect yourself should the damage prevent you from working.
There are legal processes and important data points that might be required to claim benefits after a workplace injury. You will have to prove that the incident occurred at work and demonstrate that your injuries are forcing you to miss work. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene with your phone. Make sure that any visits to the doctor include notes about your condition. In some cases, employers will send you to a chosen doctor who may tell you that you are fine. If this is the case, make sure that you visit your own doctor as well to get a more thorough examination and an accurate report of your condition.
Contact a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
Since you were injured on the job, you have a right to claim benefits in the form of worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance provides you with payments during the time that you are unable to work. Sometimes, companies may try to delay making payments or claim that your injury is not as severe as you claim. This is when hiring a Chicago worker’s compensation lawyer will be necessary. This legal professional can help you obtain the benefits you deserve so that you do not miss out on income entirely for the duration of your recovery. Some injured workers may be hesitant to challenge the company in fear of being let go, but a lawyer can help protect your rights and make sure that you are financially taken care of.
Consider a Personal Injury Lawyer
While most workplace injuries result from accidents and can be covered by worker’s compensation insurance, there is another possibility for claiming compensation. If your injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence, then you could have enough of a case to file a personal injury claim. The at-fault party could be a fellow employee, a supervisor, or the company itself. In this scenario, you can claim compensation for damages like lost income, medical bills, and emotional suffering. Personal injury cases can result in a much higher payout than worker’s compensation can, especially since other damages are taken into account. Plus, you can hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions which led to your injury. Finding a personal injury lawyer in Chicago can build the strength of your case so you have a better chance to win a fair settlement and secure your financial future after a workplace injury.
Focus on Recovery
Perhaps the most important step to get back on your feet is to invest in your physical recovery. While it is crucial to figure out worker’s compensation or a personal injury claim to take care of finances, these steps will also lessen the burden on your shoulders so you can worry about healing. Follow your doctor’s orders if they come up with a recovery regimen. Be careful with the injured area and focus on a healthy diet and plenty of rest. When appropriate, exercise the affected areas of your body with low-intensity activities. By taking the time needed to heal, you can get back on your feet sooner and life can return to normal.