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Hardhats Required: 4 Things to Do after an Accident at Work

Those who have gotten hurt at work may find that their lives are permanently altered. For instance, they may experience chronic pain, experience changes in mood or find themselves unable to walk or talk. Let’s take a look at what injured workers should do in the aftermath of a workplace accident.

Notify Your Employer of the Injury

The first thing an injured worker should do is notify their employer about the injury. In the event of a severe injury, it may be possible to have someone else get in touch with a manager while the injured party seeks treatment. A representative from the company should file an accident report and take note of if, when and where an individual was initially treated.

See a Doctor

Even if an injury is minor, it is important to see a doctor after a workplace accident. This is because symptoms may not present themselves right away. For instance, a concussion or whiplash may not be apparent immediately after a fall or motor vehicle collision. Cuts or lacerations could become infected if they are not treated properly. Additionally, a doctor’s evaluation may be beneficial when applying for workers’ compensation benefits.How Workers Comp works

Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Typically, anyone hurt in a workplace accident is entitled to have their medical bills paid as well as to a percentage of their wages while out of work. Hiring an attorney may increase the odds of getting a workers’ compensation claim approved in a timely manner. Lawyers Putnam Lieb Potvin say, “The laws of personal injury and workers’ compensation are complicated. There are hundreds of statutes interpreted by hundreds of cases. You should always consult with a lawyer. The initial consultation is free. After the consultation, you can make an educated decision on whether you want to retain a lawyer.”

 

Look into SSDI Benefits

Social security disability benefits may be available to those who cannot work at all for at least a year. This is a federal program that provides regular payments to disabled individuals based on their work record prior to getting hurt. In some cases, individuals may be eligible for SSDI as well as workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney may be able to help answer any questions a person has about either program.

According to Wikipedia:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program of the United States government. It is managed by the Social Security Administration and is designed to provide income supplements to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability, usually a physical disability. SSD can be supplied on either a temporary or permanent basis, usually directly correlated to whether the person’s disability is temporary or permanent.

Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSD does not depend on the income of the disabled individual receiving it. A legitimately disabled person (a finding based on legal and medical justification) of any income level can theoretically receive SSD. (“Disability” under SSDI is measured by a different standard than under the Americans with Disabilities Act.) Most SSI recipients are below an administratively-mandated income threshold, and indeed these individuals must in fact stay below that threshold to continue receiving SSI; but this is not the case with SSD… The amount that each recipient receives monthly is based upon an average of past earnings. The calculation is based on the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) which is used to calculate the primary insurance amount (PIA). In 2017, the average monthly disability payment was $1171, and the maximum monthly benefit was $2,687… Applicants may hire a lawyer to help them apply or appeal. There are two primary types of organizations: companies with trained specialists experienced in handling SSDI applications and appeals in some or any local community across the country and law firms which specialize in disability-related cases.

Getting hurt at work is not something anyone plans on doing. However, if a person is injured on the job, it is critical that he or she takes steps to get any compensation that may be available. This may make it easier to help individuals provide for themselves as well as for their families.

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