No one intends to get hurt at work, but unfortunately, accidents happen. It's important for employees who have experienced a work-related injury to know their legal rights. Whether it is an accident that causes acute injury such as a slip and fall, or trauma that develops over time such as carpal tunnel syndrome, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Notify a Supervisory Immediately If you are injured while on the job, report it immediately to your supervisor. In workers' compensation cases, documentation is crucial in establishing a timeline and determining what actions are warranted on the part of the employer. If possible, report the injury in writing so that both you and your employer have copies. Be direct and clear about the extent of the injury, when it happened, and what circumstances contributed. Request an Accident Report While the process may vary depending on established policies, your company should have existing paperwork or documentation that gets completed when an accident occurs. This should include specifics regarding what the company's course of action and degree of compensation granted. Even if you have a good relationship with your supervisor and the company, it's best to get everything in writing – especially when dealing with your physical well-being and livelihood. Keep Records Following the accident, keep close track of any expenses you incur. These may include visits to doctors and other medical professions, co-payments for prescriptions, and anything else that may have been spent as a result of the accident. Also, take notes following any conversations regarding your injury. These may involve your supervisor, insurance company, collective bargaining unit, or medical care professional. Keeping good records of these events will help keep events clear. These first steps will make sure that you are properly compensated by your employer. But if you have been injured around the Gilroy, Hollister, San Martin or Morgan Hill areas and find the workers' compensation process intimidating, confusing, or overwhelming, we can help. With more than 20 years of experience, we know how to work with employers and insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us to speak with one of our attorneys about your case.