Six Steps You Should Take Immediately Following a Workplace Accident in Philly
Ryan Zavodnick | January 13, 2023 | Workplace Accidents
What To Do After Your Accident
Following is a list of steps you must take immediately following a Philadelphia workplace injury. They are not necessarily the only steps you need to take. Consult with your lawyer for clarification.
Evaluate Your Injury
Not all injuries are serious, and not all injuries require hospital treatment. Nevertheless, be sure to err on the side of caution. Take particular care with slip and fall injuries because you might have internal injuries even with no external injuries. Be very careful about moving your body before Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) arrive – you could paralyze yourself.
Seek Medical Treatment
Your medical treatment needs are more important and more urgent than your legal needs. Furthermore, arranging for prompt medical treatment will generate convincing medical evidence.
Seek medical treatment promptly because failing to do so could raise doubts about the seriousness of your injuries, especially if they are difficult to detect through medical instruments. A delay in treatment will also leave a window in time for the insurance company to claim you are seeking reimbursement for a pre-existing injury.
Seek third-party medical assistance (a hospital, for example) even if your employer offers in-house medical treatment.
Contact an Attorney
Contacting an attorney is the first move you should make after you handle emergency medical matters. Most workplace accident attorneys will happily schedule a free initial consultation on your case. The services of an attorney are essential to every aspect of your case.
Report the Injury
Report your injury to your employer, or have someone do so on your behalf. An immediate verbal report is important, but you need more. You should file a written report as soon as you can. A lawyer can help you draft the report in a manner that complies with the requirements of workers’ compensation claims. An improperly drafted report could cause you legal problems if someone contests your claim.
You must support your claim with evidence. To win a workers’ compensation claim, you must prove that your accident was work-related. Typically, you only need to prove that your accident occurred on work premises while you were on duty. You should prepare the following evidence, among other items:
- Your written statement;
- Written statements from witnesses;
- A written statement from your employer; and
- Your medical records of treatment for the accident;
Gather any other evidence you think might be relevant.
File a Claim
If your claim is eligible for workers’ compensation, you must file a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. In most cases, claimants have three years from the date of the accident to file their claim. Don’t wait that long. Let your lawyer help you with the paperwork.
If a Third-Party Defendant is Liable
Workers’ compensation covers most workplace accident claims. Since workers’ comp is a no-fault system, when preparing for a workers’ comp claim, you normally don’t need to focus much on evidence of fault. If a third party (other than your employer) was to blame for your accident, however, everything is different.
Suppose, for example, that you are a construction worker and you suffered an injury caused by a dangerous condition on a construction site owned by a third party. If you sue the third party, workers’ compensation will not apply, and you will need to prove fault. Have your lawyer analyze your claim early on to determine whether you may need to file a third-party claim.
If you do, you must also gather evidence of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, so that you can claim these damages in addition to the medical expenses and lost earnings you would claim under a workers’ compensation claim.
Another form of evidence you need to collect is evidence of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In a workers’ comp claim, you can collect for medical expenses, lost earnings, and not much else.
In a personal injury claim, you can also demand intangible non-economic damages—but you have to prove them with admissible evidence. Speak with your lawyer about this.
Contact Our Workplace Accidents Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
It doesn’t matter whether you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim or an ordinary personal injury claim. Either way, you are entitled to the services of a lawyer–and either way, you can benefit from hiring one.
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.