Putting on a brave face after an injury is common among many people, including Massachusetts’ residents. The injured person tries to take it in their stride and move on. Though this might seem like a good idea at the time, failing to take essential steps after a workplace accident could have serious legal repercussions that many people don’t realize.

When someone is injured on the job, the first step they should take, and as soon as possible, is to inform one’s supervisor. It is best to do so in writing and to keep copies of all correspondence going forward. Though the law regarding the method of notification varies from state to state, having it written out is the safest bet. After this, the employer notifies the Department of Industrial Accidents and an insurance company of the injury, thus initiating the workers’ compensation process.

Once an injured employee has missed five full or partial days due to recovery, the employer has seven days to initiate the workers’ compensation process. The doctor an injured employee may see varies depending on the type of workplace one is working in (federal or private). It might even be possible to get a second or third opinion, but this process is governed by some guidelines, including the fact that the employee will not be responsible for paying for the resulting expenses.

Any delay on the injured employee’s part might delay the whole workers’ compensation process entirely, especially when most employers are looking for reasons to avoid their obligations. Therefore, an injured employee may want to consider taking the necessary action as soon as possible.