A work accident can happen to anyone – from a person who works construction on skyscrapers, to a person who works at a factory or farm, to a person who works a mostly sedentary job at a shop, school, or office. But no matter who is injured in a workplace accident, the accident and injury itself can happen quickly and be followed by confusion, embarrassment, and pain. However, even though an on-the-job accident can be disorienting and overwhelming, it is important that you take the correct steps in the minutes, hours, and days after a workplace accident.

First and foremost, you need to get out of danger after a worker accident and injury. If there is any chance of further injury, be absolutely certain to remove yourself from the danger and ensure that your coworkers and others are also safe from being harmed.

Next, it is necessary for you to seek treatment for your injuries. Even though worker accidents and injuries can be embarrassing, and even though you may feel the urge to say “I’m fine” in order to escape attention, you truly need to ask for the help that you require and get to a hospital or doctor if needed. The employer gets to choose the medical provider in Missouri, so make sure you tell your employer that you need treatment and find out where your employer wants you to go.  If you are involved in a true medical emergency, and you cannot reach your employer, then present yourself to the emergency room, as the law does make an exception to the employer's choice of physician in emergency situations.  If you need to seek workers’ comp for your injury in the days or weeks after the accident, many will wonder why you didn’t seek medical attention when you were injured – and untreated injuries could have harmful consequences or lead to chronic problems.

Third, and equally importantly, you need to inform your boss, manager, or employer of your injury and accident. Again, this might be the last thing on your mind after you are hurt, and you may feel shame regarding the injury, but it is imperative that your employer understands that you were injured during work and that you require medical assistance. Informing your employer is also required as your employer needs to tell you where to go to get treatment. Missouri law currently requires that you give written notice of the accident to your employer.

It is difficult to focus on anything other than your health and wellbeing in the time immediately following your accident. However, it is important to your career and financial wellbeing that you inform your employer of your accident, prevent similar accidents from taking place in the future, and seek the medical care that you need.

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied after an on-the-job accident in Missouri, seek the help of a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney.