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Protecting your family, health and job after a work accident

If you get hurt at work, there are likely several concerns running through your head. You might worry about losing your income, being unable to take care of your family and having to deal with a painful condition for the foreseeable future.

It can be difficult to see what your next steps should be with so much on your mind. With that said, the following are some tips to help you navigate this complicated situation and protect that which you value most.

  1. Get medical attention. Even if you think your injury may be relatively insignificant, seeing a doctor creates a record of the incident and its impact on your health. It also allows physicians to observe your condition and run the necessary tests to get a clear picture of your injuries.
  2. File a report. In order to be eligible for remedies like workers’ compensation, you must report an incident to your employer within 30 days. If your accident is the result of unsafe conditions or negligence, you can also file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  3. Obtain and preserve evidence. If you have a “smart” phone or other camera, try to take photos that depict the scene of your accident, especially any dangerous conditions that led to your injury. Also, try to obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses.
  4. Retain relevant documentation. While the paperwork that can follow a work-related injury can be overwhelming, do your best to keep everything organized. Retain receipts, copies of correspondence with your boss and records of your medical appointments. You should also hold on to things like payslips showing missed workdays and other financial implications of your injury.
  5. Understand your rights. After a work accident, too many people fail to act because they are afraid of actions like losing their jobs. However, New York workers have protections against being terminated for filing a work-safety complaint or requesting workers’ compensation. And family members have the right to seek compensation when a loved one is killed on the job.

One final thing that injured workers should know in these situations is that they need not go through this alone. A legal representative can be a valuable source of guidance, protection and support during this challenging time, so consulting an attorney can help you protect yourself and the people you love.

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