Being injured in your work can be a frustrating experience. This is especially true if you sustained an injury miles away from your office or while you’re on a work trip. However, more often than not, you may not know what to do when this unfortunate incident happens. Whether you were on your way to a business meeting and got into a car accident or you had a slip and fall accident in the hotel you’re staying in–these situations should be taken seriously to protect your rights as an injured employee.
So, if you get injured while on a work trip, below are a few things you should do from start to finish:
1. Get Immediate Medical Help
Once you’re injured, it’s essential that you seek medical attention right away. Depending on your location, you should call the place’s local emergency services to assist you in getting yourself checked by a physician. Also, even if you don’t feel anything following the incident, you should still subject yourself to a medical examination to ensure your injury will be treated accordingly.
Sometimes, work-related injuries don’t appear immediately, which means that the symptoms may only become apparent a few days or weeks following the accident. Because of this, you should never hesitate to get the medical care you need.
Moreover, receiving medical attention can help prove your claim in case you decide to obtain compensation for your losses.
2. Talk To An Lawyer
After getting the medical help you need, the next step to do is to speak with a reliable lawyer from reputable law firms, like FasigBrooks, about your situation. Although you may be far away when the injury occurred, you can give your lawyer a call and explain what happened. Once they have the details, they’ll assess the circumstances of your case and check whether it’s covered by the workers’ compensation program. If they believe your injury is caused by someone else’s negligent acts, they can advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Typically, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance designed to provide medical and wage benefits to an employee who’s injured or becomes sick while doing a job for an employer. It’s also used in the workplace setting as a condition for the mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue the employer on the ground of negligence. This is commonly known as the personal injury lawsuit claim.
However, unlike sustaining an injury in the workplace, being injured while on a work trip as a ground for receiving workers’ compensation can be a complicated matter. There are instances wherein your accident or injury is covered or not covered by the insurance program.
For example, if you sustained an injury while you’re on a side trip, your lawyer may tell you that you’re ineligible to file a claim, hence you won’t be able to receive compensation under the workers’ compensation insurance. But if you opt to file a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer can help you establish the liability of the other party involved, increasing your odds of getting compensated.
3. Notify The Proper Authorities
To improve your chances of obtaining compensation for your work-related injury, be sure to inform the proper authorities. For instance, the moment you know that you were injured, don’t forget to give your employer a call and inform them what happened. It can be a good idea to notify them in writing so you have proof of the notification. Generally, a notification to the employer is crucial to the success of your workers’ compensation claim in case you decide to file one.
However, aside from your employer, you should also inform other parties involved in the incident. This can be done by filing an incident report. For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident in the hotel you’re staying, be sure to notify the hotel manager or owner about what happened. If you suffered injuries in a car accident while traveling for work, make sure to talk to the other driver. By doing so, you’re one step closer to successfully filing a claim against the party/parties involved.
4. Collect Proof Of The Incident And Injury
Whether you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important that you gather pieces of evidence that’ll prove the existence of the incident and the liability of the other party/parties involved. Be sure you’re ready with the evidence so you can improve the odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
For example, if you have a phone or camera, take as many videos and photos as you can of the incident scene, your injury, other damages, and many more. If it’s an auto accident, be sure to obtain information about the driver involved, including their name, address, and insurance. Also, don’t forget to get the testimonies of the witnesses, if there are any.
Aside from the above-mentioned documentation, make sure to secure copies of your medical records and police reports if applicable. These can help prove your claim and strengthen your case. This is especially true if you have no idea what expenses are covered in a personal injury lawsuit. By having these documents, you may know much you can get under the lawsuit.
5. Enforce The Legal Remedy Applicable To Your Case
Once you’ve gathered the evidence, it’s time to decide whether to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit claim. If you want to institute a claim under the workers’ compensation program, the following steps should be kept in mind:
- The employer will guide you in preparing the necessary paperwork.
- The employer reports the injury and files the claims form on your behalf.
- The insurance carrier will evaluate the claim and decide whether to approve or deny it.
- The employee gets compensation for medical expenses and wage replacement.
However, if you opt to file a personal injury lawsuit, hire a personal injury lawyer and follow the steps below:
- You file the necessary paperwork in court to proceed with the lawsuit.
- You and your lawyer should be ready for the discovery stage wherein you’re given the chance to exchange formal evidence with the other party.
- Your lawyer and the opposing counsel will then try to reach a settlement before the case goes to trial. In this situation, the defendant agrees to pay you, as the plaintiff, and you promise to release the former from liability.
- In case the negotiation fails, the case will proceed to trial wherein the lawyers of both parties will present their arguments along with the evidence. Once it’s done, the judge and jury decide the case. If they find the defendant liable, you’ll be given compensation for the damages you suffered.
Being away from the office for work-related activities is still protected under the law. This means that if you were injured while on a work trip, you may still have the right to recover compensation–either under the workers’ compensation program or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Therefore, if you suffered an injury in the course of your work-related trip, keep these things in mind so you’ll know exactly what to do to protect your rights and interest as an injured victim.