You’ve gotten hurt at work- now what do you do? Who covers the potential associated costs? What is the procedure? Most companies, depending on where you work, should have some sort of cover in place should anything happen to their employees.
But there is no law that requires employers to provide healthcare. When you join a company or if you are already working in a company, it’s important to check in with your HR department on what happens should you require healthcare or any kind of medical support from them.
A lot of the time you may be asked to provide a contribution or vice versa should you ever be in an emergency situation. If your company doesn’t provide such a service, then make sure that if you have your own personal medical aid and gap cover plan, that you make sure that you always keep your medical aid details up to date. If you go over to a new brokerage or medical aid firm, always be sure to update your personnel file with the information.
What is classified as an accident?
Accidents happen and they happen when you least expect it. However, you can’t really claim it was an accident if there was negligence involved. For example, let’s say you have been consuming alcohol and you operate heavy machinery, and due to this, you knocked over your colleague, causing them to fall. Another example- the cleaner has mopped the floor which gets slippery when it's wet. She fails to put a “Caution. Wet Floor” sign down and someone subsequently slipped and fell- the company is then liable for that.
These events are usually described as ordinary or gross negligence and there are a lot of examples out there. So if you are ever unsure of where you stand, it is best to look into a labour lawyer and get their advice.
What's the difference between ordinary and gross negligence?
Ordinary negligence is basically if a person fails to take reasonable precaution that could cause someone else harm. You may not have intended for that person to be harmed but due to your actions, someone unfortunately was.
Gross negligence is a reckless disregard for the safety of others and those actions and carelessness which can cause injury to others or damage to property.
In order to understand this, you need to decipher what type of harm was caused, if it was intentional and who is responsible to make sure that you get the care that you need and deserve.
How do you go about pursuing a negligence claim?
As mentioned, it would be a good idea to consult with a labour lawyer and look at someone who handles personal injury claims and it is important for you to act quickly as time is very limited in such cases. If you have a case, and you need to prove negligence, you will have to prove four elements in order to make your injury case valid such as a defendant duty, breach, causation and damages.
If you are found to be in the clear and you need damages owed to you - don’t forget that if you had any medical expenses that you can hand those over under damages and work out an agreement that your company handles the medical bills.
If you are still injured and have been booked off from work, listen to what your doctor says. You don’t have to feel obligated to return until you are in full health, but don’t take advantage of your employer.
If you are still unsure of how to handle a situation, reach out to people around you, get advice on who you should speak to or even chat directly with your medical aid provider for any related medical issues you may be facing.
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Note: All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. Errors and Omissions Excepted. Terms and Conditions Apply.