The Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights after a Work-Related Injury
New York City | Queens | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
When you have been hurt on the job, you have a right to seek benefits for lost wages and medical expenses. Often, though, in the immediate aftermath of a work-related injury, the shock and anxiety you experience can keep you from thinking clearly, from taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights. Here are the most important things to do after workplace injury.
Get the Medical Care You Need
Protecting your health should be your first priority. Don’t worry about witnesses or other legal matters until you have received treatment for all your injuries. This isn’t the time to be strong, stoic or brave—it’s the time to fully acknowledge the extent of your injuries, and to not risk further injury by trying to do too much. If you can’t move under your own power or are in significant pain, stay where you are (as long as it’s safe) until emergency medical professionals arrive. Defer to their expertise and judgment regarding whether or not you need to leave in an ambulance or can take yourself out of the building.
Even if you can move under your own power, it’s essential to go to the hospital, an urgent care facility or your personal physician as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of an intervening event that may impact your workers’ compensation claim (and the greater the risk that your injury will be more serious than necessary). When you receive medical treatment, be sure to tell the doctor or nurse about everything that seems out of the ordinary. Don’t focus on the obvious injury—the broken leg—and ignore the seemingly less serious injury—stiffness in your back. Often, it’s those lesser injuries that are more debilitating in the long run.
If you are physically able, get names and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. In addition, you should take pictures of everything—the injuries you suffered, any abnormalities in equipment or other parts of the work environment. There’s no need for professional photography—snapping shots with the camera on your phone will be fine.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner you’ll know that evidence is being gathered, evaluated and protected. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that witnesses will die or move, or that evidence will be lost.
Protecting Your Rights after a Work-Related Injury
Experienced NYC | Queens | Bronx | Brooklyn Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we provide comprehensive counsel to people with workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.
To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.