Injuries can happen at any time – and whether you work in an office or a construction site, you always face the chance of being injured at work. If you find yourself injured on the job in Ontario, it’s critical to understand the steps you can take to protect your rights and, ultimately, recover from your injuries. 

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know if you are injured at work in Ontario. 

Navigating Workplace Injuries in Ontario 

If you are injured at work, there are several steps you can take following your accident. Below, we’ve outlined some key steps you’ll want to consider. 

Report the Accident to Your Employer

If your employer is unaware that an accident occurred, you should report the accident to your employer (or a supervisor) as soon as possible. 

While some employees may feel nervous or uncomfortable about reporting an accident and injuries to their employer, letting them know is a crucial step to ensure that you receive the help you need following an accident, and your employer can take steps to avoid similar accidents in the future. 

Ontario employees can also rest easy knowing that Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, RSO 1990, c O.1 protects employees from reprisal where they comply with the act (in this case, reporting an accident or injury to their employer). 

Seek Treatment for your Injuries

Like any other personal injury claim, injured workers should seek treatment for their injuries and follow treatment protocols recommended by their medical professionals. Let treating medical professionals know that your injury is work-related to ensure that any forms or documentation reflect the nature of your injuries in the event of a claim. 

Report the Accident to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) 

You should notify the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board if you are injured at work due to an accident. This step must be completed within six months of the date of injury to preserve your right to apply for benefits. 

Sometimes, an employer may request that an injured employee not report the accident or suggest that they use sick days to recover from a workplace injury or illness. Regardless of your employer’s stance, you can report the accident and obtain benefits in appropriate circumstances. If you have concerns regarding your employer’s stance, speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer for guidance.  

Apply for Benefits from WSIB 

Injured workers may apply for WSIB benefits if: 

  • The employer is covered by WSIB, 
  • The employee has suffered an injury or illness at work, 
  • The employee or employer reports to WSIB and the claim is accepted, and
  • The employee provides the appropriate information for WSIB to decide whether the employee is entitled to benefits.  

Keep in mind that WSIB’s coverage is “no-fault,” meaning that you do not need to prove that your employer was in any way at fault for the accident. 

These benefits are designed to help injured employees get the help they need to get better and return to work and cover a wide variety of circumstances, including: 

  • Loss of earnings, if you are injured at work and miss time due to your injuries
  • Health care, including treatment, medical equipment, and prescriptions 
  • Non-economic loss, if your injury leads to a permanent impairment
  • Expenses relating to the claim 
  • Loss of retirement income, if you are off work due to your injuries for at least one year, WSIB will put 5% of your benefit into a retirement fund that will pay out when  you turn 65
  • Survivor benefits, if you are the spouse or dependent of a person who died due to a workplace injury 

Additionally, WSIB administers various services to help injured employees return to their daily activities, including help returning to work and specific services for seriously injured workers

Cooperate with WSIB’s Investigation

In some cases, workplace injuries and benefits applications are relatively straightforward. In other cases, it may need to be clarified to WSIB whether an injured employee is entitled to benefits. WSIB may request additional information or documentation or investigate your claim further in these cases. WSIB will also require updates on your condition, which you should be prepared to address. 

In any event, it’s important to cooperate with WSIB’s inquiries and provide requested documentation. Be open, honest, and accurate to avoid any potential complications and reduce your risk of being denied benefits or having your benefits cut off. 

Can I Sue My Employer if I Am Injured at Work? 

Personal injury claimants often wonder whether they can sue their employer for damages relating to a workplace injury. In most cases, Ontario employees cannot sue for damages if they are injured at work. Under Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, SO 1997, c 16, Sch A, employees are granted an entitlement to benefits through WSIB instead of a right to bring a claim against their employer if they are injured at work. 

In limited circumstances, an employee who is injured while working may be entitled to sue a third party for damages resulting from their injury. For example, if an employee is involved in a motor vehicle accident in the course of their employment, they may elect to sue the other driver. 

Given the limited circumstances where an injured party can sue for injuries suffered at work, it’s important to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer to determine your entitlement to bring a claim against another party. 

Injured at Work: Conclusions 

Suffering an injury at work – and navigating the process of obtaining benefits or determining whether you are entitled to sue another party for your injuries – can feel daunting. However, understanding your rights when you are injured at work can go a long way in helping you understand your rights and identify the best path forward. At a minimum, reporting the accident is crucial, ensuring you receive appropriate treatment and always cooperating with WSIB. 

If you have questions or concerns relating to a workplace injury – whether they relate to your ability to sue for damages or your entitlement to benefits – be sure to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer for guidance. 

Contact Tierney Stauffer LLP in Ottawa, Kingston, Cornwall, or North Bay for Experienced and Compassionate Advocacy for Your Denial of Benefits Claim 

If you have been denied a specific benefit, or if your benefits have been terminated, don’t hesitate to reach out to the skilled personal injury lawyers at Tierney Stauffer LLP. We’re happy to provide advice and representation based on our many years of experience fighting for benefit seekers’ rights. Ensure you know your rights, and don’t be afraid to question the validity of your claim application refusal. You can count on us to help you determine the truth. 

Call us at 1-888-799-8057 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers


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