What To Do If You Are Injured At Work

If you are injured at work, taking the right steps promptly is the only way to ensure your safety, receive appropriate medical care, and protect your legal rights. It is also important to understand that your employer, your employer’s insurance company, or both, may not have your best interests in mind when trying to negotiate a work injury settlement.  From the beginning of your injury, it is important to protect yourself and your family and ensure that you recover adequate compensation to pay for your medical expenses and your lost wages.

Here is a detailed guide on what to do if you are injured at work.

Immediate Actions

  • Ensure Safety. The first priority is to ensure your immediate safety and the safety of others. If possible, move to a safe location away from the hazard that caused the injury.
  • Seek Medical Attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, seek medical attention immediately. For severe injuries, call emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room. For less severe injuries, visit a company-designated healthcare provider or a trusted medical professional as soon as possible.  Even if you do not believe you are seriously injured, documenting your injuries from the beginning is critical for success in negotiating the workers’ compensation system.
  • Report the Injury. Notify your supervisor or employer about the injury as soon as possible. Many workplaces have specific procedures for reporting workplace injuries, and prompt reporting is crucial for documentation and initiating workers’ compensation claims.


  • Document the Incident. Write down the details of the incident as soon as you are able. Include the date, time, location, circumstances leading to the injury, and any witnesses present. Accurate documentation can be vital for your workers’ compensation claim.
  • Take Photos. If applicable, take photographs of the injury, the scene of the incident, and any equipment or conditions that contributed to the injury. Visual evidence can support your account of the incident.
  • Keep Medical Records. Maintain all medical records related to your injury. This includes initial diagnosis, treatment plans, medical expenses, prescriptions, and any follow-up visits. Detailed medical documentation is essential for proving the extent of your injury and the treatment required.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

  • Complete All Necessary Forms. Your employer should provide you with the necessary forms to file a workers’ compensation claim. Fill out these forms accurately and submit them promptly. Delays in filing can affect the outcome of your claim.  If your employer does not provide you with forms immediately, document your request for them in writing.
  • Understand Your Rights. Familiarize yourself with your rights under workers’ compensation laws. These laws vary by state but generally provide benefits for medical expenses, wage replacement, and rehabilitation. Understanding your rights can help you navigate the process more effectively. The best way to do this is to discuss your case with an attorney who is knowledgeable in workers’ compensation law.

Follow-Up Actions

  • Follow Medical Advice. Adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare provider. Attend all medical appointments and follow their recommendations for recovery. Compliance with medical advice is important for your health and for the validity of your workers’ compensation claim.
  • Keep Your Employer Informed. Maintain open communication with your employer about your condition and recovery progress. Provide them with updates and any required medical documentation. This helps your employer accommodate your needs and plan for your return to work.
  • Explore Modified Duty. If your healthcare provider approves, discuss with your employer the possibility of returning to work on modified duty. This can include adjusted tasks or reduced hours that accommodate your recovery. Returning to work on modified duty can help you stay active and connected to your job while you heal.

Legal Considerations

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, or if you encounter difficulties with your employer or the insurance company, consider consulting a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can provide legal advice, help you understand your rights, and represent you in disputes.

Be aware of the statutes of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim in your state. Missing these deadlines can result in the loss of your right to benefits.

Prevention and Future Safety

It may be helpful to engage in workplace safety programs and training. Understanding safety protocols and best practices can help prevent future injuries.  If you notice unsafe conditions or potential hazards in the workplace, report them to your employer or safety officer. Proactively addressing safety concerns can help create a safer work environment for everyone.  It can also be useful information to have if you are ever injured at work and your employer has not addressed known safety concerns.

Being injured at work can be a challenging experience, but taking the right steps can ensure you receive the medical care and compensation you need. Promptly report the injury, seek appropriate medical attention, document everything thoroughly, and understand your rights under workers’ compensation laws. If necessary, seek legal advice to navigate any complications. By following these steps, you can protect your health, your job, and your legal rights.

At Barber & Associates, we work with victims of workplace accidents to protect them and ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.  Give us a call today to see how we can help you.