How to Handle an Injury at Work

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: February 26th, 2016 | Categories: Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer

While some jobs are undoubtedly riskier than others, the possibility of becoming injured at work always exists. You can trip on stairs in an office building almost as easily as at a factory. Proving this, in 2013, nearly 123,000 Ohioans suffered what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classify as occupational illnesses and injuries. Of these unfortunate individuals, 149 died as a result of accidents on the job.


Responding correctly following a work injury is essential to recovering physically and ensuring all your medical costs and lost wages are covered. The Ohio workplace injury lawyers with the Jones Law Group share the following dos and don’ts in the hopes of giving you a head start on bouncing back as fully as possible should you or a loved one get hurt at your place of work.

DO seek medical care immediately

This goes without saying if you start bleeding, break a bone, or lose consciousness. The need to have a doctor check out any pain, limited range of motion, cough, or mental confusion following a less-serious incident must be emphasized, however. Without proper care, seemingly minor dings or brief bouts of sickness can escalate into disabling or deadly conditions.

DO use your own health insurance

Going to a doctor starts an official paper trail. A diagnosis that connects your problem with a workplace incident and documentation of consequences form the basis for any successful work injury claim.

You’ll almost definitely need to pay the medical bills up front, though. A successful work injury claim will result in having any out-of-pocket costs reimbursed, and your insurance company will reclaim its payments from other insurers. Reaching such a conclusion can take months. Never put off medical care just because someone else should be paying.

DO file a report with your employer

Injury reports are generally not required by law, but most companies ask workers hurt on the job to file them. Complying is a good idea for several reasons. As with the records from your doctor’s visit, filing an injury report establishes the fact that something happened and proves that workplace supervisors and managers knew. Completing the official accident/incident report also lets you explain in your own words what happened. Lacking such a record can put you at a disadvantage when only your employer has anything in writing.

DO keep every piece of paper related to the incident

The importance of having a complete paper trail cannot be overstated. Your file on your workplace injury must include every doctor’s report and bill, medication prescription, note from each therapist, copies of the injury report you filed and any responses from your superiors, notes on injury-related phone calls, emails, and correspondence from insurance companies, Ohio Workers’ Compensation, etc.

DO get a copy of workplace safety policies

Employers who contest claims for work injuries often argue that the injured worker violated one or more safety policies. Countering such a defense often requires showing both how you followed the prescribed rules and how the company failed to meet its duties to properly train and equip employees. Having a complete version of the workplace safety policies in effect at the time of the injury will make it easier to keep the company honest.

DO ask co-workers what they saw and if they will give statements

People who witnessed your injury or know the conditions under which you were working when you fell ill can provide invaluable perspectives. Co-workers can also fill in important details that you, as the victim, may not know.

DO NOT immediately threaten to sue

You will gain little by making the relationship with your employer contentious before you know as many facts as possible. Your workplace may even surprise you by offering a fair settlement before any legal proceedings become necessary.

Also, state law currently limits companies’ liability in injury cases. Your Ohio work injury lawyer can explain all the details. The short version is that pursuing worker’s compensation benefits makes the most sense when an employer refuses to pay.

DO NOT sign away rights or give quick statements

Shortly after the incident, refuse requests to provide recorded or signed statements other than the initial injury report. Your employer can use such “official” statement like trial evidence.

DO consult with a workplace injury lawyer in Ohio

You have rights to legal representation when considering insurance settlements, applying for workers’ comp benefits, and taking your employer to court. Exercise those rights. Injury law is complicated, and both insurers and Ohio Workers’ Compensation will use all the strategies available to them to deny payment of claims.

If you are the victim of a work injury, contact Jones Law Group by calling (614) 545-9998 or completing this web form. Let us know how we can help. A consultation will cost you nothing.

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