One of the very first steps that you (as an injured worker) should take after suffering an on-the-job injury or illness is to notify your employer about the incident. If your injury is not life-threatening or in need of immediate emergency care, this notification should be provided right away before you go to see a doctor. Otherwise, it should be provided to your employer as soon as possible after you obtain emergency medical care.
Tips for Notifying Your Employer of a Workplace Injury or Illness
One might be tempted to think that merely mentioning to one’s employer that a workplace injury or illness has occurred would be sufficient. However, people tend to forget what they have heard – and having your employer forget that you mentioned you suffered a workplace injury or illness can negatively impact your workers’ compensation case.
In addition to an oral notification, consider the following as well:
- Provide written notification to your employer. Provide your employer with a note (preferably typewritten or legibly handwritten) indicating that you have been involved in a workplace accident. Do this as soon as you can following your injury – the same day or the next day, if possible. Retain a copy of the note and make a notation on your copy of who you gave the note to and when you delivered the note.
- Explain the workplace accident. Under workers’ compensation laws, benefits are available regardless of who was at fault. Even if you caused or contributed to the accident, you are still able to recover workers’ compensation damages. For this reason, you should describe how the accident occurred in detail so that any medical professionals who need to evaluate your injuries and determine whether your injuries are connected to the workplace accident know precisely the sequence of events that led to the accident and how the accident occurred. (Note, though, that if you are at fault or if you contributed to your accident you may not be able to recover compensation from any negligent third party.)
- List the people involved. Where another employee caused or contributed to the accident, workers’ compensation benefits are available. But if a third party – a stranger to the employment – caused or contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation from this person. It is important that you list these other individuals as your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will most likely want to bring suit against these individuals too to recoup some of the benefits the insurer paid to you.
Experienced Assistance with Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, contact the experienced legal team at Hampton Injury Law for assistance. We can help you through the claims process from start to finish, and we can also help identify whether any third parties are also liable for any of your losses or expenses. Contact us at (757) 838-1136 or through our website and discuss your workplace injury with us today.