The most common non-fatal workplace injuries in the United States include sprains, strains, pain, soreness, bruises, contusions, and fractures. Carpal tunnel syndrome, multiple fractures, heat burns, and multiple traumatic injuries are common workplace injuries causing employees to lose most work hours.

Based on the recent news release of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.7 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2020. The top occupations that involve days away from work due to nonfatal occupational injuries include nursing assistants, nurses, labourers, truck drivers, repair workers, stockers, and retail salespersons.

Given the rising number of non-fatal workplace injuries, how should an employee handle a non-fatal workplace injury? This article will answer this common legal and workplace-related question.

Seek Immediate Medical Care

The first course of action when handling a non-fatal occupational injury is to seek immediate medical attention. Most companies have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for workplace injuries, including first aid measures that in-house nurses and doctors provide.

Regardless of the severity of the injury, it’s crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible to document the injuries and keep a copy of medical records. Laboratory results, scan studies, and doctors’ findings are essential in establishing a strong case when filing a workers’ compensation claim.

You can learn more about workers’ compensation online, like from or other legal websites.

Ensure Proper Reporting

Employers are responsible for ensuring workplace safety. When safety is compromised and a workplace accident occurs, it must be reported as soon as possible following the proper procedure.

First, the injured employee must report the injury to the employer. Notifying the supervisor or manager should be within 30 days from the date of the accident or the first occurrence of an occupational illness’s manifestations—failure to report the incident within this timeframe results in voiding the eligibility of the victim for benefits.

The injured worker should fill out an injury report as set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for all employers to comply. This workplace injury report must include all the relevant details of the incident, including the date, time, and place of the incident and the nature of the victim’s injury.

All injured employees can request a filling out a workplace injury report from their employers. This report is a piece of substantial evidence when filing a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit.

Consult A Lawyer

Injured workers can seek legal advice from a workers’ compensation attorney specialising in handling workplace injury cases. According to evidence, a workers’ compensation lawyer can assess the victim’s injuries and the rightful amount of compensation suitable. Furthermore, a workers’ compensation attorney can provide expert advice to the victim regarding the legal options available and the legal documents and procedures necessary.

For instance, some employers illegally terminate injured workers during their recovery period because of lengthy absence from work or other reasons. Other employers ask injured workers only to seek medical treatment from clinics and hospitals they recommend. A workers’ compensation attorney will fight for the victim’s rights and take the legal actions necessary to correct any illegal employer actions.

File A Claim

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is critical when handling a non-fatal workplace injury. There’s a time limitation to reporting a workplace injury and filing a claim following the accident.

Here are the important things to remember when filing a claim:
  • In the United States, the allowable time to file a claim is within two years from the incident date or discovery of the occupational illness. The injured worker is eligible to receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits within this timeframe.
  • When filing a claim, the injured party should provide all supporting documentation, such as medical records and witnesses’ statements. Subsequently, the completed workplace injury form and supporting paperwork must be filed with the insurer.
  • Employers should guide injured workers in preparing the necessary paperwork and going through the claims process. They’re responsible for submitting the claim form and supporting documentation to the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
  • Employers may be required to report the non-fatal workplace injury to the state’s workers’ compensation board. Workers’ compensation laws differ depending on the state. Hence, employees and employers should check their state’s workers’ compensation rules for strict compliance.

Take Action Based On The Claim Result

Once the workers’ compensation claim is filed, the insurance company will review the claim and decide.

If the claim is approved, the insurer will contact the employer and the employee to provide the payment details. Then the employee can accept the payment or negotiate for a larger compensation amount.

If the claim is denied, the injured workers can request the insurer’s reconsideration or file a formal appeal through the state workers’ compensation board.


Workers facing a non-fatal workplace injury should keep the important tips shared above. It’s imperative to know the legalities from gathering evidence and incident reporting to filing a workers’ compensation insurance claim. Hiring a competent workers’ compensation lawyer is advisable, especially if the employer or the insurance company isn’t doing the right thing to resolve the case.