Workplace accidents are very common, leaving hundreds of workers with serious or fatal injuries every year. When a workplace accident occurs, even if the accident doesn’t initially seem serious, reporting the details of the accident is critically important. If you’ve been injured on the job, be sure to report the accident to your employer, file the written accident report with your self-insured employer or the Department of Labor & Industries, and act quickly to call an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
The Importance of Reporting Workplace Accidents
There are numerous reasons why it’s important to report all accidents in the workplace, including:
- Prompt reporting protects your right to compensation. Having proof that an on-the-job accident occurred is critical. You must file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries whether or not there is a third-party liability claim. The Report of Accident provides details about how the accident happened, where it happened, lists the names of witnesses, etc.
- Create a reference for the future. When you provide specific details of a workplace accident as soon as it happens, you create a resource that you can reference in the future. Include details such as when and where the accident occurred, who witnessed it, and a list of all body parts you injured. These details can assist you and others when filling out claim documents, obtaining treatment, and getting medical conditions accepted under the claim.
- Obtain full benefits. Time loss compensation is based on date-of-injury wages, marital status, number of children, number of jobs, etc. Accurately reporting this information on your report of injury is paramount to receiving full benefits under your workers’ comp claim.
- Third-party claims. The report of the accident will likely be used if your injuries occurred because of the negligence of another person or failure of a machine or machine part. Your accurate reporting of the time, location, and witnesses to an accident is imperative in any third-party action.
What Details Should I Include?
The more details that you include when reporting your workplace accident, the better. At the very least, you should include details about:
- Where the accident happened;
- The date and time of the accident;
- What you were doing when the accident occurred;
- How the accident happened;
- Who witnessed the accident;
- Machinery, motor vehicles, equipment, or/and names of others involved in the accident;
- All initial injuries you sustained;
- When you notified your employer and to whom you reported the accident;
- Income from all jobs (especially if you have more than one job); and
- Your marital status and the number of children you have, if any.
Why Do I Need a Workplace Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been in a workplace accident, more often than not you’ll be covered under workers’ compensation insurance and get the benefits you deserve, especially if you timely report the accident with specific details of the accident. However, this may not always be the case. In fact, you could have a viable third-party liability claim that you don’t know about or don’t know how to pursue. When you work with a lawyer, you:
- Improve your chances of recovering your full benefits;
- Will learn more about how to file a claim and what your rights are;
- Protect your rights. Your attorney will protest or appeal unfavorable decisions issued by the Department of Labor & Industries or self-insured employers. Failure to timely protest or appeal these decisions could prevent receipt of all your benefits owed under your claim.
- Have an advocate on your side who is committed to working for you.
Our Experienced Workplace Accident Lawyers at The Walthew Law Firm Are Here for You
When you call The Walthew Law Firm, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re hiring a skilled Seattle law firm with more than 90 years of experience behind its name. Our lawyers can help you if you’ve been injured on the job. To set up a free, completely confidential consultation, please contact our law firm today. We represent injured workers throughout Washington, including in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Federal Way, Renton, Kirkland, Auburn, and Redmond. Reach us online or by phone to get started.