Free Case Consultations 704-594-4317

Home  /  Blog  /  What Is the First Thing That Must Be Done When a Worker Is Injured?


What Is the First Thing That Must Be Done When a Worker Is Injured?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
  |     |  

Dealing with a workplace injury can be infuriating, costly, and quite terrifying, depending on the situation and the parties involved. Still, it is important to know what to do, so many people ask, “What is the first thing that must be done when a worker is injured?” If you are dealing with a workplace injury, reach out to a Concord workers’ compensation attorney.

Insurance companies may feel the need to fight any workers’ comp claims that are brought before them, and employers may feel somewhat defensive if an injured worker brings a claim in the first place. A skilled attorney can protect your rights to receive the benefits you deserve.

What is the first thing that must be done when a worker is injured?

What to Do in the Event of a Workplace Injury

According to information gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 74,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in the state of North Carolina in 2022. These statistics include most of the more common causes of workplace injuries, such as transportation accidents, slips and falls, exposure to harmful substances, and falling objects, among other causes. Getting a workers’ comp settlement may take time, depending on your injury.

Workplace injuries are not a rare occurrence. Every job carries with it a certain expectation of safety, but it is difficult to provide any true guarantees that you cannot get hurt while at work. The most important thing to do for yourself is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and prioritize your own health and safety as often as you can.

If a workplace accident happens to you or you witness it happen to someone else, there are a few steps you should take in the immediate aftermath:

  • Do Not Panic: The first thing you should always do when a worker is injured is not panic. Panicking helps no one and only makes a bad situation worse. Odds are, if the accident is serious, the worker is already quite alarmed. It may not be wise to add to the chaos. Keep a level head and assess the situation accordingly.
  • Get Medical Help: If you are a witness to the accident and are able to, go get medical help as soon as you possibly can. If the injury is severe, call 911 and get an ambulance to the scene. If you are the victim of a workplace injury and it does not appear to be immediately life-threatening, go see a medical professional as soon as you can. There may be underlying damage or internal trauma that you are not yet aware of.
  • Report the Situation: It is crucial to report the accident to your immediate supervisor or manager as soon as possible. They need to be kept updated and informed of the situation from start to finish. They may be responsible for looping in the insurance company and will likely be the one to whom the workers’ comp claim is brought first. You should notify them in writing or verbally, though writing is recommended so there is a written record of the notification.
  • Document the Scene: Non-injured staff should make the effort to document the accident. Take photos of the scene, the injuries, and any equipment that may have been involved. Documenting the scene in the immediate aftermath can serve as an effective collection of evidence when the time comes to seek a workers’ comp claim.
  • Gather Witness Statements: If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is important that somebody collects their statements for future use. Their testimony may be immensely helpful when filing a claim.
  • Cooperate: If there is an investigation launched by your company or by the insurance company, be sure to cooperate fully. Be honest about anything you may have witnessed. Being honest can help prevent future accidents.


Q: What Should Be Done Immediately After an Injury in the Workplace?

A: The first thing that should be done immediately after an injury in the workplace is to gather yourself and keep calm. Panicking serves no one and can only escalate what is already a painful and quite intense situation. Once you have calmed yourself, help the injured person seek medical attention if possible. If they are severely injured, call an ambulance. If they appear to be injured but not in a life-threatening way, help them as well as you can.

Q: What Is the Employer’s Responsibility When a Worker Is Injured?

A: An employer’s responsibility when a worker is injured is to report said injury to the company’s insurance carrier. This goes for injuries, illnesses, and allegations of injuries, according to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Workers’ comp exists to provide injured workers with a financial safety net that can keep them stable during their period of recovery. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their workforce by making a reasonable effort by the standards of their industry.

Q: What Is the Standard Protocol for Most Companies When a Worker Is Injured?

A: The standard protocol for injured workers depends entirely on the company in question and how far it is willing and/or able to defend, protect, and aid its workforce in the event of a workplace injury or illness. Usually, employers should work with the injured employee to file a workers’ comp claim with the company’s insurance carrier. Keeping the lines of communication open is the smartest thing for an employer to do in the event of a workplace accident.

Q: Who Should Be Notified When an Injury Occurs in the Workplace?

A: When an injury occurs in the workplace, all relevant parties should be notified. These parties include management, supervisors, human resources, other employees in the same division, and healthcare providers. Reporting the accident in a timely manner allows a quick and substantial investigation to take place, which can help prevent future similar accidents from occurring.

It is also recommended that the worker’s family or immediate emergency contact be notified as well. Keep everybody who is relevant to the accident and the aftermath notified and updated.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today

The legal team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler is prepared to help you file your workers’ comp paperwork in a timely manner and ensure that you are not taken advantage of. Contact us to schedule a consultation after a workplace injury.