Workplace injuries happen, especially in high-risk occupations such as construction or manufacturing. However, that is small comfort to the injured parties or their families if they lose work hours or jobs because of it, or worse, lose their lives.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, about 184,678 people in Ontario reported a workplace injury in 2017-2018. While a majority (126,251) did not lose work time due to their injuries, 56,529 did, and a further 1,898 sustained critical injuries. Eight-one people lost their lives due to a workplace injury in the same period.
If a workplace injury occurs because of negligence or unsafe working conditions, you may be eligible to get compensation. However, you need to understand how the process works for making a workplace injury claim, or you could end up with nothing. Here are common mistakes made after a workplace injury you should avoid.
Injuries in the Workplace
Before delving into the complexities of a workplace injury claim, you should know what constitutes a workplace injury. You will then see when you need to consult a workplace injury lawyer.
A workplace injury is the effect of any event at work, on work premises, conducting business that requires medical attention, lost work hours, or both. A workplace injury includes diseases or disorders acquired because of work-related activities or occupational injury.
Typical scenarios for workplace injuries include tripping over wires or slipping on wet floors. Construction workers often fall from height or get struck by a falling object, which is why they are required to wear safety harnesses and helmets. Repetitive movements and extreme physical exertions can also cause injuries that may require extended medical attention and loss of hours. Other events that can cause critical injuries are compression by machinery, bumping into objects, and roadway accidents.
Workplace Injury Mistakes
In Ontario, workplace injuries are reported by the employer to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board(WSIB) if the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act covers you. You will then receive benefits from the WSIB but are precluded from suing your employer or co-worker for damages.
However, if the WSIB does not cover you or you decide to forego benefits, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Whether you file a claim with the WSIB or pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you must avoid the following mistakes that can be detrimental to your case.
Failing to Report the Incident
The first thing you should do for workplace injury management is report it to your supervisor. This is essential because it will be the basis of your claim for benefits. The earlier you make the report, the sooner you will get your benefits.
When reporting the incident, stick to the facts of what happened and include as many relevant details as possible. The supervisor will then elevate the case to the employer, who has 72 hours to submit a formal injury report.Ensure that you get a copy of the written report to verify the facts as you have recounted them and keep it for your records.
If you fail to report the injury immediately, you can still get benefits within one week from the incident if you have proper documentation. These would include written witness statements, medical records for your treatment, and any time off work because of your injury.
Refusing to Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Any delay in getting medical attention can be devastating to your claim. The most important proof you can present for your workplace injury is your medical report, particularly for a personal injury claim. A medical report will document the nature and extent of your injury, including the likelihood of a full recovery that is vital for getting the compensation you deserve.
Seek medical attention immediately after sustaining an injury and give your doctor all the incident details and your symptoms. In addition to documenting your condition, the timing will prove that the injuries are critical, work-related, and not pre-existing.
Failing to Disclose Previous Injuries
You need to be honest with the attending physician about any previous injuries you might have had when getting treatment for your workplace injury. Lying about them might get you the medical report you want, but the truth will eventually come out when your medical records come to light during an investigation into your claim.
The damage to your credibility will be irreparable, and it will hurt your chances of getting any compensation at all. If you retain a workplace injury lawyer, be sure to tell them the truth about any previous injuries.
Posting the Incident on Social Media
While you might be in the habit of sharing everything on social media, that would be a mistake if you are making a workplace injury claim. Anything you post on social media will come under scrutiny, and investigators are very thorough. Even using privacy settings will not help you avoid them seeing everything.
Photos and comments about the incident can be taken out of context and used against you and defeat your claim. Even if you think you are not saying or showing anything that can be detrimental to your case, you might be wrong. It would be best if you stayed quiet about the whole thing.
Inform your workplace injury lawyer if you have already posted sensitive information about the incident on your social network. If they can do anything to lessen the damage, they will.
Not Going to Work Soon Enough and When Able
You need to go back to work as soon as the doctor says so or risk losing benefits to which you might be entitled. For example, suppose the doctor says you are restricted from strenuous activities and your employer delegates you to a lower-paying position. In such cases, you might be able to get compensation for your reduced income. If the WSIB covers your injuries, you may be entitled to assistive devices or relocation benefits if you need them to find work.
However, you can appeal the work readiness classification if you don’t feel ready to go back. Be sure to consult your lawyer if you ever find yourself in this position.
Refusing to Get Legal Assistance
Workplace injuries claims are complex, whether under the WSIB or in civil court, and it can be fatally easy to make a mistake. For example, there are certain limitations to making these claims, so you need to be aware of them. You need an experienced workplace injury lawyer in Ontario to help you navigate the process or risk getting no compensation for your injuries.
Winning Your Workplace Injury Case
Tip 1: Put your smartphone to document evidence.
Your smartphone can capture videos, audio, and images of the accident scene and your injuries. You can use it to take down important information such as the time and location of the incident and possible witnesses.
Tip 2: Look for a security camera.
Look for a security camera at the scene as it can provide footage of the incident. Try to obtain the footage as soon as possible, as that is objective evidence you can use to support your claims.
Tip 3: Call 911.
Call 911 to ask for emergency medical assistance. What you say during the call will be recorded, so make sure you describe the incident, location, and injuries in as much detail as possible.
If you got injured in a workplace accident, get the compensation that’s rightfully yours by seeking the assistance of personal injury lawyers from Diamond & Diamond today.
Your actions after your workplace injury could significantly affect the results of your case, so be careful about what you do.
Contact Diamond & Diamond Lawyers Today
A workplace injury is not uncommon, but that does not mean it should happen to anyone. You have the right to expect safety in the workplace and the right to benefits and compensation when you sustain critical injuries related to your work.
If you have sustained a work-related injury, avoid these common mistakes. They can keep you from getting compensation for your injuries. Failing to get the proper legal advice and representation as early as possible can be fatal to your claims.
If you are doubtful about what to do or have a hard time dealing with your employer, contact the experienced workplace injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond immediately. Our lawyers are very familiar with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, making them qualified to give legal advice about claims for benefits.They have handled many claims over the years for compensation for workplace injuries caused by the negligence of others.
Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT to schedule a free evaluation of your case. We handle cases for injury victims throughout Ontario.