Getting hurt at work can often be a very painful, confusing, and emotional situation. You will probably have a lot of questions, ranging from “Will I get fired?” to “Am I entitled to workers’ compensation?” With this flood of questions comes indecision, so it’s important to know the vital steps you should take in the case of a workplace injury. These simple precautions and actions are crucial in making sure that a workplace injury isn’t unnecessarily damaging to you professionally, personally, or financially. It’s also important to remember that laws that protect employees and employers vary from state to state, so pay careful attention to any step that has Iowa-specific details.
1. The first step – and many subsequent steps – you should take after getting hurt at work are very similar to those discussed in the case of a motorcycle accident. First and foremost, safety is the top priority. Make sure that you and your co-workers are safe from any immediate danger before doing anything else.
2. Tell the proper person about your injury. In Iowa, law dictates that you have 90 days to report a workplace injury. It’s best to report your injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. No matter how small or minor you may perceive the injury to be, reporting it can only help you. Chronic injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or hearing loss should also be reported. If there is a “scene” of the injury, don’t leave until everything is properly recorded and all details of the accident are disclosed to the proper internal or external authorities.
3. Your inclination after getting injured might be to go straight to the doctor’s office, but even something as simple as getting checked out should be done with caution. In Iowa, you are required to visit the company’s or organization’s preferred medical professional in the case of a work injury. Visiting your own doctor before the company’s doctor may arouse suspicion that you weren’t actually hurt at work and your company may not pay the bill. Make sure you keep copies of all medical records and doctor’s notes.
4. Finally, if you are denied medical services, you should consult a workplace injury lawyer immediately. You have rights as an employee, and an experienced Iowa attorney can help you understand them and leverage them fairly and effectively.
Even if you do receive the care you need, it may still be beneficial for you to consult legal counsel. Whether you think that you are entitled to workers’ compensation or worried that you will be fired due to your injury, a good lawyer will help you sift through the complications associated with getting hurt at work. We know that you are probably most anxious to simply return to your job as if nothing happened. That’s why Carpenter Law Firm is here to help you avoid a lengthy, expensive legal process while also protecting your best interests. If you’ve been hurt at work in Iowa and you’re dealing with these four steps above, call us today for a free consultation!