Regardless of your profession and daily job responsibilities, there’s always a chance you could suffer an injury. And if that happens, you should turn your immediate attention to your health and legal rights.

No one expects to suffer a workplace injury, so most people aren’t prepared to deal with it in the appropriate manner. Fortunately, this isn’t as challenging as it sounds. Here’s what you should do if you’re injured on the job:

  • Stop what you’re doing: Don’t fight through the pain in the hope that it’s temporary. Even if the pain subsides, you should stop what you’re doing and seek medical treatment.
  • Report the injury to your supervisor: Before you leave the job site, report your injury to your direct supervisor and/or the HR department. Provide as many details as you can, as you want them to understand that you were injured at work.
  • Receive medical treatment: This can occur at your doctor’s office or a local hospital. In the event of a serious injury, you should head straight for the hospital, as you may require emergency treatment. Your medical team can make an accurate diagnosis, discuss your prognosis and help you implement a treatment plan.
  • Decide when you can return to work: With the help of your medical team, you can decide what comes next. Your injury may keep you from immediately returning to work, which has you concerned about your financial and career well-being.
  • File a claim for workers’ compensation benefits: If you need to take time off to recover, filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is helpful. If approved, you’ll begin to receive regular payments, which can help you with your medical bills and daily living expenses.

The only potential problem with a workers’ compensation claim is a denial. For example, your employer may argue to their insurer that you were not injured on the job.

Should you receive a denial letter, find out why and then learn more about the appeals process. This isn’t a time to shy away. You need to protect your legal rights in the hope of eventually obtaining all the compensation that’s owed to you as an injured employee.