Suffering an Injury at Work – What to do?

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According to Health Insurance Act, injury at work is any injury, illness or death incurred as a result of an accident at work, or as a consequence of any unexpected or unplanned event.

This includes an act of work-related stress or work-related violence which led to the injury, illness or death of the employee that occurred immediately or within a period of 12 months from the date of occurrence of the injury at work.

How to know if your injury is considered an injury at work?

In order to proceed further accordingly, you need to determine in each case whether a particular event has the character of an injury at work.  It’s necessary to consider the meaning of the term “workplace” according to the Law on Safety at Work.

This law stipulates that a workplace is a space intended for carrying out work with the employer (in the facility or outdoors, as well as on temporary and mobile construction sites, structures, devices, vehicles, etc.) in which the employee resides or has access during work. and which is under the direct or indirect control of the employer.

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Bearing in mind the above legal provisions, it can be concluded that an injury at work is considered to be an injury that occurred in the workplace, that is, in the space where the employee resides or has access during work. This doesn’t refer only to the moment of the process of performing the work, but also to the moment of performing any other activity for the work purpose. It applies to all work and auxiliary premises and all facilities controlled by the employer.

If the injury occurs during the daytime breaks, i.e. breaks during the working day at the workplace, in the premises in which the employee resides or has access during the work, such injuries are also included in this type. If, however, the injury occurs during the daily rest, but in an area outside the control of the employer, such injury does not have the features of injury within at work.

Types of accidents

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  1. In-itinere accidents – while leaving the workplace or going back from work.
  2. Accidents while carrying out union work, that is, if a union delegate has an accident while performing their union functions or when going to and from these functions, it will also be taken for an accident at work.
  3. Mission work injuries – while being out of the work center following the orders of the employer, during the journey.
  4. Accidents while performing functions that aren’t typical of the position in question, but that are done by following orders of the employer or for the proper functioning of the company.
  5. Accidents while carrying out salvage or similar acts, when they’re done in connection with work.
  6. Diseases that aren’t in the list of injuries at work, but that are derived exclusively from work circumstances.
  7. Diseases that were already present, but that became aggravated by an accident at work.

In general, it will be presumed that any injury caused during the workday and in the workplace is a work accident, unless the employer proves otherwise.Those that occur as a result of crimes committed by the employer, co-workers or anyone related to the company are also considered to belong to the work accidents range.

What should I do next?

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If you had an accident at work and got injured, you have the right to receive compensation – you need to make sure you follow certain steps in order to proceed with that.

Notifying your boss/employer

The employer is obliged to report verbally and written to the competent labor inspectorate and the competent internal affairs authority immediately. This shouldn’t happen later than 24 hours after the occurrence of any fatal, collective or serious injury at work that causes an employee incapable of work for more than three consecutive business days. Your employer must provide first aid and timely refer the affected person to the emergency service.

In the event of an accident at work, the company has to prepare a report or part of the accident, which will indicate the data of the injured worker, the company for which he works and a description of the accident and normally the means that had been taken to avoid it. It is interesting that the worker has a copy of this part.

It would also be important to obtain a copy of the report or attestation that the police have raised, if you have attended for the type of accident that has occurred. If there have been witnesses, it is advisable to write down who they are and obtain a telephone or some way to contact them, if necessary.

Medical evidence

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Medical reports or reports are required to request compensation, so you must tell the doctor who treats you that the accident was in your workplace and give your employer’s name. In some states, if you choose your health care specialist first, your employer can change it after 60 days, but if your employer chooses it first, you can change it after 60 days.

Contact the workers’ compensation agency of the state where you have been injured, to learn more about the rules of that state. But on the other hand, in some countries your employer chooses the health care specialist, but there are also states where you can choose your health care specialist from a list that provides you with the workers’ compensation agency or your employer.

Healthcare

The injured worker is entitled to health care for recovery. This assistance involves both the treatment, the operations that are necessary, and the rehabilitation, until restoring health.

The so-called “medical leave”, which in the case of accidents at work is almost always managed by the Mutual societies and in some cases by the National Social Security Institute or by the companies themselves. Most of these mutuals have an action manual in case of an accident at work, which includes the part about the facts that caused the accident.

If the worker is invalidated due to the accident, he or she should be entitled to receive compensation or permanent disability pension. In addition, in the case of permanent disability arising from work-related accidents, it’s the Mutual which is responsible for the cost of the pension.

Compensation

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You have the right to receive compensation payment whether the accident was your fault, one of your co-workers or your employer. Workers’ compensation is a state insurance system that helps you if you have an accident and get hurt at work. Some companies like Foyle Legal even offer free consultations regarding this matter – you can always ask professionals for their opinion and act in accordance with it.

Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, but the basic principles are the same. If you want more information, you should call the agency responsible for workers’ compensation of the state in which you are working and find out more about the process.

The amount of compensation is fixed by a scale and mostly depends on the involvement of the worker. In addition, this compensation can be increased between 30% and 50% if the accident results from the lack of safety and hygiene measures by the employer. This surcharge will be paid by the employer.

These kinds of situations are the least pleasant ones, but even if they occur, it’s crucial to be able to cope with them. The more you know about them – the easier you’ll be able to proceed accordingly to the resolving of such issues, which could mean a lot nowadays.

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