While the number of combined workplace illnesses and injuries decreased in 2021, the rate of work accidents continues to increase, with 6.3% more accidents in 2021 than in 2020.
Texas is actually one of the most dangerous states for workers since most work accidents occur in the construction, transportation, natural resources, and mining industries. Nearly 1 in 10 Austin residents work in these high-risk industries, making work accidents and injuries all too common. If you have been injured in a work accident in Austin, here is what you need to know.
What to Do Immediately After a Work Accident in Austin
Immediately after a work accident, you or a co-worker may be injured, in shock, or in need of medical care. Here is what to do right after an accident:
- Get to safety. If possible, try to reach safety or create a safer situation. This may mean getting out of the path of traffic, shutting down machines or equipment, or using a fire extinguisher or other safety equipment. Only attempt these tasks if you can do them without greater risk to yourself: the most important immediate priority is getting yourself to safety.
- Seek medical attention. Always seek appropriate medical care after a work accident. This may mean using a first aid kit, calling emergency services, or going home for the day. Because of shock and adrenaline, the severity of your injury may not be immediately obvious, so do not try to “walk it off” or proceed without medical attention.
- Report the accident to your employer. As soon as it is safe to do so, report the accident and any injuries to your employer. In some cases, this may simply mean a call or message to a site supervisor or chief.
What to Do in the Aftermath of a Work Accident in Austin
After the first rush of shock or adrenaline has passed, there are several things that you can do to protect your rights after a workplace injury. Here are some of the most important things to do as soon as possible after a work accident:
- Gather evidence. If possible, take pictures of your injury, and take pictures of the accident site. Collect contact information from any possible witnesses. Some of the best evidence may be quickly lost or destroyed, so taking the time to create your own evidence can help your case.
- Write your own report. While the accident is fresh in your mind, write down your own detailed description of everything that happened. This will be helpful for all the reports and forms you will later need to complete.
- Notify your insurance company. In the aftermath of an accident, there may be some confusion about whether your medical insurance or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance is liable for your medical costs. It is always best to notify your insurance company that there has been a work accident.
- Consult with an attorney. If you or a loved one has had a work accident that has caused you to miss time at work, it is always best to consult with an Austin-based workplace injury attorney. A work accident lawyer can review your case and give you expert advice to make sure you recover all the damages you are entitled to.
How to Follow Up on a Work Accident in Austin
After your work accident, there will probably be lots of forms and documents from your employer, your insurer, and other parties, as well as medical bills, pay slips, and other things that need to be tracked and taken care of. Here is how best to follow up after a workplace accident:
- Contact the Texas Department of Insurance. In some cases, your employer will file a workers’ compensation claim for your injury. In other cases, you will need to file your own workers’ compensation claim. Even if your employer has filed a workers’ comp claim, it is best to contact the Texas Department of Insurance workers’ comp division yourself, to make sure that everything was filed correctly and on time. You may want to provide your own description of the event from your perspective.
- Keep all your injury-related documents. Create a file and put copies of all the documents, reports, bills, letters, and other documents related to the accident in a single place. This will allow you and your attorney to make sure you are appropriately compensated for all your work accident damages.
- Get help from a workers’ compensation specialist. Whether you are working directly with workers’ comp, or you work for a Texas employer who does not have workers’ comp insurance, get help from an attorney before you accept a settlement. Workers’ compensation is a special area of the law, and not all injury attorneys have experience in these types of cases. Look for a workers’ comp lawyer with a track record of success.
A workplace accident or injury can be life-changing, with long-term consequences for you and your family. Make sure you know what to do after a work accident in Austin before you have one, so you are best prepared to recover physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. The Law Offices of Aaron Allison have been family-run since 1978, and offer free consultations to discuss your case. Contact us today to help with your recovery and restore your peace of mind.