This is Part 1 of a multi-part series on what you can do if you've been injured at work.
Part 1 - Recordkeeping
Accidents at work come out of nowhere. They put extreme emotional and financial strain on the injured worker and his or her family. If you are injured, physically restricted, or have been terminated from your job due to a work injury, you should pursue potential worker's compensation remedies available to you. While each case is different, the following tips may work for you! Here are some general steps you can take toward the successful pursuit of a worker's compensation claim.
Step 1: Record the incident
Above all else, immediately report your accident or injury to your supervisor! If and when you have a work accident resulting in injury, immediately write down the particulars of the incident while they are still fresh in your mind. This should include the time, date, location and circumstances of the event and contact information for any persons who witnessed the accident. Your report of the accident forms the basis for your claim.
Step 2: Obtain your personnel file
As soon as possible, obtain a copy of your personnel file from your HR representative or your direct supervisor. Your personnel file - records of prior reprimands and commendations, information about pay raises, annual reviews, and other employment details - contains key information about your employment history. Keep a hard copy of all the formal developments in your employment, especially those pertaining to your accident.
Step 3: Keep all pay stubs and other records from your employer
Keep employee handbooks, check stubs, and any written information you receive from your employer. These records help to establish your wages at the time of your injury and your employment rights and liabilities. These records help define benefits to which you may be entitled if you are injured on the job.
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