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5 steps you should take after a workplace accident

Accidents happen. At work. A lot. And they are not always minor. In fact more than half of private industry workplace injuries and illnesses reported are of a more serious nature.

Sometimes they are due to human error, but other times they are caused by faulty equipment or employer negligence.

Workplace injuries vary and range from repetitive motion injuries, muscle strains and herniated discs, to machine entanglements, vehicle accidents, falling objects, lost fingers or limbs or other trauma. 

Knowing what to do to protect yourself and your rights in the event you are involved in a workplace accident is vital in protecting your health, well being and rights.

1. If the injury is serious, get medical attention first.

2. If the injury is not life threatening immediately report it and write down what happened.

3. Take photos of your injury.

4. Document any time off from work.

5. Follow the medical treatment plan.

Most work accidents are no-fault, that means it doesn't matter who is responsible for your injuries because generally workplace accidents fall under the worker's compensation umbrella.

Most but not all workplace injuries are no-fault. It may depend on the workplace and the unique circumstances surrounding your injury. For example, if your injury was caused by machinery failure or defective equipment you may have the option to sue the manufacturer.

Questions to consider when dealing with a workplace accident are if your workplace intentionally caused you harm (by not providing proper training or by not following procedures and regulations) or if your injury is the result of equipment failure.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job it may be in your best interest to consult an attorney experienced with workers' compensation issues.