On-the-job injuries can have serious personal and financial consequences. They can put you behind on performance at work and have lasting issues with your health. If you’re injured while at work, there are some important steps that you should take to protect yourself. Here are five things that you should do as soon as possible if you’re hurt on the job.

Report the Injury

It’s crucial that you report your injury to your employer immediately after your accident. Getting in contact with your HR department and letting them know that there has been an injury is essential to making sure you are taken care of. Not reporting your injury right away could jeopardize your right to receive workers’ compensation if you need it as many people are advised to just work through their injury. Your employer will likely request you to fill out a form that specifies the nature of your injury and any other pertinent information you may need. You’ll also be able to receive additional information on what to do next if you report the incident. If HR isn’t available then getting contact with your immediate supervisor can be a good route to go too.

Visit an Authorized Doctor

Unless your injury requires emergency care, you should visit a doctor that’s approved by Workers’ Compensation Board in your area. If you see a doctor that hasn’t been authorized, your employer may not cover the costs of your care. You might be able to find the list of approved doctors on your company’s website.

Follow the Doctor’s Advice

The doctor who you see will likely give you specific instructions to follow so that you can heal faster and won’t make your injury worse. As the California Department of Industrial Relations states, the doctor will advise you on when you should return to work and the types of tasks that will be safe for you to perform on the job. The doctor may also suggest visiting a specialist if you require specialized care.

Hire an Attorney

An attorney can advise you of your legal options and advocate for your rights if your employer or the insurance company refuses to pay for your medical care. Your workers compensation attorney can gather evidence to bolster your claim and argue on your behalf in court, if necessary. In addition to your medical care, your attorney might also be able to help you obtain compensation for any property damage or long-term disability payments that you require.

Apply for Workers’ Compensation

If your injury prevents you from working safely, you can begin the process of applying for workers’ compensation payments. You’ll need to fill out the appropriate forms and gather all medical documents to support your injury claim. If approved, you’ll receive payments to cover your living expenses until you can return to work or permanently if you can claim long-term disability.

You can make your workplace injury easier to manage by taking the right steps to resolve the situation. Make sure you are doing everything in your power to make the workplace safer so that you can have peace of mind and avoid any unwanted litigation for wrongful injuries on the job. If you go through the appropriate channels and do everything right, you’ll be able to make your life whole again sooner.