Steps to Take Immediately After a Work-Related Injury

Construction worker wearing overalls falling out of ladder at construction site. - After a Work-Related Injury concept

A workplace accident can be devastating — physically, emotionally, and financially. Injuries that happen at work can require extensive medical treatment and you might also incur lost wages while you are recovering. If you were hurt on the job, it is important to understand your legal rights and the steps you should take to protect them. Here is what to do after a work-related injury:

1. Get the Medical Help You Need

Getting the medical help you need is crucial after a workplace accident. Not obtaining immediate medical attention could not only result in your injuries becoming more severe — but it can also impact your claim. Prompt medical attention can help to document your case, improve your chances of making a full recovery, and ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries.

2. Report the Injury to Your Employer

You should tell your employer as soon as possible if you sustained an injury on the job. Washington is a no-fault state, meaning the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) will cover a claim for a workplace injury no matter who was at fault for the accident. Your employer is prohibited by law from discriminating or retaliating against you for filing a claim.

3. Document the Accident

One of the most vital things to do after an injury at work is to gather evidence from the scene of the accident — if possible, take photos or video footage of the hazard that caused your injuries. Additionally, you should write down the details you remember while they are still fresh in your mind to provide your attorney with the information they need if you are going to file a claim. Document where and when the accident took place, what you were doing at the time of the incident, and the injuries you sustained.

4. File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation can provide you with the medical coverage you need after a workplace accident plus wage loss and vocational rehabilitation benefits. You may also be eligible to receive an award if you are left with a permanent impairment due to your injuries. Significantly, in order to obtain the Workers’ Compensation benefits to which you are entitled, you must file a Report of Accident with L&I or your self-insured employer within one year from the date your injury was sustained.

5. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Even if you think your injuries have resolved, it is critical to comply with your doctor’s treatment plan.. Attending your medical appointments shows that you are committed to getting better. Failure to follow your doctor’s orders can result in a denial of your claim or impact your ability to receive the benefits you deserve.

6. Consult with an Attorney

If you are wondering what to do after an injury at work, it is essential to have an attorney by your side who can guide you through the Workers’ Compensation process. They can advise you regarding your claim, assist you with filling out the necessary paperwork, and advocate for the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. In cases involving a third party’s negligence, you may also be able to file a personal injury claim. An attorney can assess the facts of your case and discuss your options.

After a Work-Related Injury, Contact an Experienced Washington Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you suffered an injury in the workplace, filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits will help you recover some of your financial losses. However, it is essential to have the representation of a knowledgeable attorney who can advise you regarding what to do after an injury at work. The Bellingham Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Robinson & Kole provide committed counsel to injured workers throughout Washington State and work tirelessly to obtain the best possible results in each case. We welcome you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 800.640.5616 or by using our online contact form. Se habla Español.