When traveling for business, one of the last things on your mind is getting injured or sick. Unfortunately, these situations tend to come up when you least expect it. This makes it scary and nerve-wracking. To help prepare you, we've put together the steps you should take if you're injured on a work trip, including when you should hire a personal injury attorney.
Consider the Situation
The first thing you want to do, if possible, is considered the situation. For starters, is it classified as an injury? If you come down with a cold or something like food poisoning, then it isn't considered an injury and you probably won't be able to get workman's compensation. The next thing you'll want to consider is whether or not it's an emergency. If it isn't, you don't have to rush and get to the doctor in such a short amount of time. One other thing to consider is whether or not it would be considered work-related, which we'll talk about in just a few minutes.
Emergency Room Visit
If it's an emergency or severe injury, you'll want to get to the ER right away. There are a couple of reasons why you should do this. The first is because you want to make sure you get your injury taken care of. Letting it go and not worrying about it could lead to severe complications. The other reason is that not getting treatment will affect your workman's compensation claim and cause you to have a higher chance of denial. Even if it turns out to be minor, you at least tried to get treatment.
If it's not an emergency, you won't have to rush right to the emergency room. With that said, though, it's very important to get seen by a doctor. If you aren't familiar with the area, call down to the hotel's front desk and ask for a recommendation. They will either give you a list of physicians or have their on-call physician come. Even if you don't think it's very serious now, you never know what could happen later so you want to get checked out and have the records to prove it.
With workman's compensation, there are a lot of things that need to be done and proved for you to be rewarded. To help provide proof, try and document everything you can. This includes taking photos and having statements from any medical professional that treated you. You'll also want to get statements from those that were around you and saw the injury occur. If possible, try and get copies of the results of any tests or procedures that were done. Keep these copies until the workman's compensation claim is done and always keep a copy for yourself.
Consider Work-Related Relation
Another important step is considering whether or not the injury is work-related. Most of the time, you have to be something that's directly related to your work. For example, if you're there doing business meetings, an injury that happens while you're out on the town won't really be work-related. You'll want to research your state's workman's compensation information, as well as the guidelines for the area you're in. Some places will consider it work-related if you're on a business trip, while others will require you to actually be working instead of having a break.
Follow All Guidelines
Regardless of whether or not you think the injury is serious, you want to make sure you follow all guidelines that are given by the physicians you've seen. You also want to make sure you save documents to prove you've followed the guidelines. Not only will this help you get better but it will also increase the chances of your claim being approved. It might seem like it's not a big deal or you might feel like you just don't want to do it but many claims have been denied as a result of the person not following the guidelines.
Research Employer's Workman's Comp Guidelines
While following the doctor's guidelines, make sure you research your employer's workman's comp guidelines. This will give you a good idea of whether or not your injury qualifies for workman's compensation. It will also give you an idea of what steps you need to take to file a claim. All of the information that relates to your employer's workman's compensation guidelines and policies should be easy to view and understand. If you can't find the policies or they aren't willingly given to you when requested, stop everything and hire a personal injury attorney. These cases could mean your employer isn't doing what they should be and you don't want to get caught up in it.
File a Claim
After you've gotten treatment and any documentation, you'll want to go ahead and file the claim. Make sure you know your employer's guidelines on what steps you need to take. Make sure you have everything requested and file the claim in a timely manner. The longer you wait to file the claim, the less chance you'll have of winning. Try and file within a few days of the injury occurring. If you aren't able to, have one of your family or friends get an attorney that can do this on your behalf.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
The final step you'll want to take if you need to is to hire an injury attorney. There are a few situations when this is recommended, such as if your claim is denied, if the employer has poor practices, or if you're in a situation where the employer is trying to blackmail you or act like the claim or injury wasn't that big of a deal.
By taking these steps, you'll have a better understanding of the steps you should take if you're injured at work. Things can be serious when there's an accident and being prepared could result in a completely different outcome. Remember to take steps before going on your trip to help ensure you're as ready as possible.