What to Do When There is an Accident in the Workplace
All workplace accidents should be reported, regardless of how minor. Seemingly small injuries can compound over time or become worse after the initial experience. Reporting an accident is one of the best ways to ensure you are able to get the coverage you need if you ever need to stay out of work to recover or prove an accident caused your injuries later on. Filing a report takes minutes, and doing so could help you in the future.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Workplace Accident
Focus on your injuries first. Do not try to move if you are severely injured, and ask nearby workers to contact someone to assist you. If you are in serious pain or the injury requires medical attention, ask for someone to call an ambulance.
If possible, use your phone to snap pictures of your injuries, the accident site, and witnesses at the time of the accident. Ask for witness names and contact information. Do this even if your injury does not require hospitalization or immediate medical attention.
Tell your manager or supervisor about the accident as soon as you can. You need to report the injury within 30 days to be eligible for any workers’ compensation benefits. Your manager or an HR representative should fill out an accident report on your behalf. Ask him or her for a copy of the report, and make sure you detail all injuries you are aware of at the time.
Do not wait to get medical attention if you start to experience pain or other symptoms after a workplace accident. You are entitled to seek the medical advice of your choosing, and you may want to do so in addition to or instead of using a company recommended doctor’s office.
In the state of Texas, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Your employer may be required to notify you if they do or do not offer this type of benefit. Regardless, filing an accident report and maintaining documentation of your accident and injury may be vital to helping you secure lost wages, compensation for medical expenses, and more after your accident.
Writing a Workplace Accident Report
When you submit an work accident report to your manager, make sure you include as much information as possible. Write everything down, and provide your employer with a paper copy as well as an email copy to maintain a record you submitted the accident for your employer to report. Include the following information:
- Name, employee ID information, contact information
- Date, time, and location
- Specific details regarding the injury
- Specific details regarding the accident
- The events that lead to the accident
- The object responsible for causing injury
This information is what your employer is responsible for reporting under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. Keep a record of providing the information so you can verify the report includes accurate information at a later date.
When Your Injuries Start to Affect Your Work
Chronic pain, severe injuries, and other accident trauma may prevent you from working days, weeks, or months after an initial accident. When this happens, you will need to file a claim for compensation. The state uses DWC Form-041 the “Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease.” Fill out all information, and send the form to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. This form must be submitted within a year from the time of injury.
If you have difficulty getting your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance representatives to honor your claim, consult a Dallas work injury attorney about your rights as an employee covered by workers’ compensation in Texas.