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What happens if you are injured at work?

If you are injured in an accident at work, then your employer likely has some protocols in place to respond immediately to the injury and then investigate the accident. Your first concern -- as well as your employer's -- should always be immediate safety and triage. Do you need medical attention? Does the incident cause remaining safety issues? Should the area be evacuated?

Following the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident, your employer is likely to be concerned with the facts of the case. Whether you are recovering with a first aid kit in the break room or seeking medical attention at the hospital, your employer is likely to be asking questions about what happened. They will probably ask you about the incident and they will likely interview anyone who witnessed the incident.

It can seem crass for an employer to begin asking fact-based questions when workers are injured, but the sooner the employer can ask these questions, the more reliable the information is likely to be. Employers begin investigations in part because they need to determine whether workers' compensation will be forthcoming and in part because they might be required to investigate due to federal regulations.

Investigations will cover what was happening at the time of the accident, how the accident occurred and who was involved. This information is critical, because it is often used to determine whether you were engaged in a work-related activity when the accident happened. If it is deemed that the accident was not related to work, there might be a delay or problem with workers' compensation.

If you are and the workers' compensation carrier is balking at your expenses, then you might need help. Outside legal assistance helps you understand your options and seek appropriate compensation for your injuries.

Source: ERC, "7 Tips for Workers’ Compensation Claims," accessed Feb. 19, 2016

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