There are many rules and limitations involving a workplace accident claim that begin the moment an employee is injured. By far the most essential aspect of filing a workplace accident claim is documenting the entire experience, including names of witnesses, the duties being performed when the accident occurred, and the notification steps that took place following the incident. For insurance purposes, companies normally require notification of an injury within 48 hours of the incident, and medical treatment should always be accepted whenever it is offered. From there, an employee should seek legal representation immediately in order to grant an attorney as much time as possible to process the workplace accident claim.
Many workers will decide not to file a workplace accident claim because it appears that the company has their best interests in mind, but this is often a critical mistake. Delaying any part of the filing process raises questions on the validity of the accident, a fact that attorneys for the defendant will explain in detail if the matter ever enters a court room. Aside from taking detailed notes throughout the negotiation process, an employee should contact an attorney as quickly as possible and seek medical attention to validate his injuries. Photographs and witness testimonies only strengthen the workplace accident claim as well, so these exhibits should be secured as quickly as possible.
As far as what to document, an injured employee should record anything that could be considered even remotely related to the workplace accident claim. This would include the supervisor's reaction when first notified, the immediate process to remedy any injuries or pain, and any other fact that could later give credibility to the workplace accident claim. Failure to collect this information in a timely manner could lead to numerous problems once the workplace accident claim is eventually submitted.
Likewise, an attorney should be contacted as soon as possible for a consultation. While there may not be a need for legal representation for filing the claim, there may be several aspects of the process that are unclear to the employee. For this reason alone, you should ask the attorney several questions and treat the meeting like an interview, regardless of whether or not you have intentions of actually hiring him. Legal consultations for a workplace accident claim are normally free of charge, so there is absolutely no reason to delay completing this crucial step.
After legal counsel is taken care of, ask about the employer's intentions to rectify the situation. In many situations, a settlement offer will be prepared almost immediately, and in these cases, hiring an attorney may not be necessary. If the employer refuses to examine the validity of the workplace accident claim or attempts to stall the negotiation process, then legal representation should be sought immediately so that the claim can be filed within a court of law.