A work injury can destabilize your life. You may be staring at substantial medical bills, mental anguish, and the possibility of not returning to your job, depending on the type of injuries you have. As such, it is essential to be aware of the steps to take following a workplace accident to ensure your rights as a worker are safeguarded.
Perhaps the most crucial bit is notifying your employer of your workplace accident as soon as it occurs. It may be helpful to put such notice in writing to prevent any questions regarding your employer’s knowledge of the accident. Should you delay in notifying your employer, they may challenge your claim, which will jeopardize your chances of getting compensated.
Inform your employer within 30 days of the accident
You only have 30 days following your injury or knowledge of your injury to make your employer aware of the problem. Unless overbearing circumstances such as mental or physical incapacitation prevent you from informing your employer of your injuries, failing to observe this legal time limit could end your claim entirely. Insist on getting some form of acknowledgment from your employer (again, preferably in writing) that you have notified them of your condition.
Beyond that, you have two years to file a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the state agency that regulates workers’ compensation, although it’s generally not wise to wait that long.
Look out for your legal rights
Understanding your rights as a worker will go a long way in ensuring adequate compensation for your injuries. The more you know about how workers’ compensation works, the better prepared you may be when an injury does happen.