Industrial workplaces are very dangerous environments. Equipment rollovers, exposure to toxic chemicals, and being caught in heavy machinery and equipment are just a few of the most common types of accidents that occur in industrial settings. If you risk your safety and well-being every day for your employer, it is important that you know what to do in case of an accident. Below, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer explains the most important steps to take after any accident.
Report the Accident to Your Employer or Supervisor
It is important to tell your employer or supervisor about any industrial accident, even if you do not think you were injured. If you fail to do this, your employer may argue that the injury did not occur at work. This can seriously hurt any claim you may be able to file in the future, including workers’ compensation. To file a workers’ compensation claim, you must show that your injury occurred while you were performing your employment duties.
Report the Accident to the Authorities
Not all industrial accidents must be reported to the authorities, but there are times when you must report them. For example, chemical spills must be reported to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) or the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You may not have to actually report the accident to the authorities yourself. If that is the case, make sure your employer reports it so you and your co-workers are protected in the future.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If your injuries are very serious you, your co-workers, or your supervisor should call 911 so you can receive immediate medical attention. If your injuries are not that serious, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Under the workers’ compensation law in Louisiana, you have the right to choose one doctor in each field or specialty. However, you are also required to submit to an examination by a doctor provided and paid for by your employer. The doctor you choose is known as the ‘treating physician’ while your employer’s doctor is known as the ‘second opinion’ doctor.
Seeking medical attention after an industrial accident is important for many reasons. First and foremost, seeing a doctor will protect your safety and well-being and make sure your injuries do not become worse. Additionally, you may have to prove your injuries in the future. Seeking medical attention will document your injuries so you can prove them to the insurance company in the future.
Know the Deadlines in Your Case
Regardless of the type of claim you are filing, there are likely many deadlines you must meet. For example, if you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident or you might lose your right to file for benefits at all. You then have one year to file for medical benefits. If you have already received a payment from the insurance company, you have three years from the date of the last workers’ compensation payment to file for more benefits.
Industrial accidents can also result in a personal injury claim. For example, if you were injured due to defective equipment, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer. The statute of limitations on personal injury claims is one year from the date of the injury. If you do not meet the above deadlines, you will likely lose your right to claim any compensation at all.
Do Not Admit Fault
It is important that you never admit fault after an accident. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means even if you contributed to or caused the accident, you can still receive benefits. However, admitting fault can impact your ability to claim compensation in a personal injury claim. Louisiana follows comparative fault laws, which means if you contributed to the accident, any compensation you receive will be reduced by your same percentage of fault.
Call Our Industrial Accident Lawyers in Baton Rouge
After an industrial accident, you need legal representation to make sure your rights are protected. At Big River Trial Attorneys, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyers can advise you on the steps to take, prepare any claim you are eligible to file, and make sure you receive the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled. Call us now at (225) 963-9638 or fill out our online form to schedule a free review of your case and to learn more about how we can help.