Witnessing an accident at work or being the first responder to an on-the-job accident can be stressful. Follow these simple guidelines to get the victim of the accident the medical care he or she needs as soon as possible, and to protect yourself in the event that you are called as a witness in a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim.
Call 911 Immediately
If you have witnessed an accident at work, or are the first responder after an accident occurred, the first step you must take is to call 911 as quickly as possible if the injuries are severe. Even if the victim is conscious, he or she may be unable to move or may be in extreme pain. Calling 911 is safer than trying to take the victim to the hospital yourself.
Follow the Operator’s Directions
When you call 911, the operators will ask you questions about what happened and the injuries that you can see. If the victim of the accident is unconscious, the operator may instruct you on how to perform CPR. Stay on the line with the 911 operator, and follow their directions as closely as possible. They may instruct you not to move the victim, or they may ask you to lie the victim on their side. What injuries the victim sustained and how the accident occurred will largely determine what the 911 team instructs you to do before the ambulance arrives, so be sure to give them as much information as possible.
When Emergency Personnel Arrive, Notify Your Supervisor Immediately
Once the emergency medical technicians arrive to the accident site, they will take over and you will be able to disconnect from the 911 dispatcher. You will likely be relieved that the situation is under control by medical professionals, however, your next step is to notify your supervisor, if they are not already at the scene of the accident. Tell your supervisor what you saw, exactly how you saw it, and what steps you followed immediately after.
Write Down What You Saw Happen
It’s a good idea to also write down what you saw happen while it is still fresh in your mind. Having a record of what occurred before, during and after the accident from your perspective may come in handy later.
Contact a Work Accident Attorney in Orange County
If the employee who was injured files for workers’ compensation or even levies a personal injury claim against your employer, you may be called as a witness. This can be nerve wracking, because while you want to tell the truth, you may be afraid of retaliation from your employer. Consulting a California work accident lawyer can help you understand the situation and learn what your rights are and what options are available to you.
Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Holmes today to speak with a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County. Call (714) 667-6844 now.