In the United States, 2.8 million workers were injured or became ill due to their work in 2018. Injuries impact employees in almost every field, including the retail, healthcare, construction, and performing arts sectors. Some workplace injuries result in short-term injuries that can be treated and cured, while other injuries lead to permanent disability.
If you have been injured on the job, you should take some crucial steps to protect your rights and care for your personal and medical needs. Following these steps can ensure you’re ready to pursue a work injury case.
Seek Medical Treatment
See a medical professional and have your condition assessed. If you’ve been injured at work or believe you’ve developed an illness because of your work environment, you should take the steps required to secure medical documentation. Without a proper diagnosis, you may aggravate existing injuries, and your condition may deteriorate. Only a medical professional is qualified to order the tests needed to provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment.
Find an Attorney
Find an attorney who specializes in representing people who have sustained workplace injuries. Google “work injury lawyer in Raleigh NC” (or wherever you live) to find reputable attorneys who have experience with these types of cases in your area. You must consult a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with relevant case law because they will evaluate your case and determine what fair compensation you may be eligible to receive. Work injury lawyers often offer free consultations, so you assume no financial risks or attorney fees by meeting with them to get an assessment of your potential workers’ compensation claim. Once you hire an attorney, they will guide you through the legal process while preparing your personal injury case.
Document the events that led to your illness or injury. If you sustained an injury, you should record when and where the incident that led to your injury occurred. Make a list of other pertinent factors, such as employees or customers who were in the area and witnessed the incident. Many workplaces require staff to file incident reports if someone is injured on the job. Make a note of who documented the incident and ask for a copy of the report.
If you believe your workplace has made you ill, it may be harder to determine when this began — document as much information as you can about the contributing factors. For example, you may have been exposed to cancer-causing carcinogens in your workplace. Make a note of any other employees who have reported similar symptoms. If other employees have been diagnosed with a disease, you should note their names and collect contact information if you need to speak to them. Your personal injury lawyer may also want to discuss their condition and talk to all potential witnesses who can support your case if you go to trial.
Present Your Case
Although your case may go to trial, many steps must be completed first. In addition to meeting with your attorney, you will also have to attend pretrial hearings and settlement negotiations. Although your personal injury lawyer may do most of the talking at these events, you need to be present and create a good impression.
One way to do this is by investing in some casual dress clothes that are suitable for legal meetings. Your appearance will make an impression on everyone you interact with during your legal proceedings. Aim to look professional without wearing formal attire. A jumpsuit is a comfortable, stylish option that may be ideal. Jumpsuits and rompers come in various styles, including jumpsuits with wide pant legs, which are ideal if your leg is in a cast. You can also opt for rompers with skirts. If you prefer two-piece outfits, consider wearing a dress shirt or blouse with pants or a skirt. You will want to ensure your clothes are comfortable since you may spend several hours in legal meetings before settling your case or going to trial.
Gather relevant medical information from your doctor and any specialists you see, such as medical bills and receipts for prescriptions and copays. Gather documentation to support referrals to other medical experts, such as physical therapists and psychologists. Your medical records can be used to substantiate your physical and mental condition. As the injured party, you may also be eligible to receive fair compensation for these expenses.