7 Critical Mistakes That Can Jeopardize Your Workman's Comp Claim
Have you been injured on the job?
It is estimated that there are 7 to 11 million work injuries every year.
If you are injured on the job, then you are entitled to compensation. However, as with all legal matters, you must make sure that you approach your claim in a manner that will not jeopardize your case.
In order to make your case indisputable, there are guidelines you must follow. Here is a list of seven things that you must not do if you want to ensure that your workman's comp claim is not jeopardized.
1. Fail To Report Your Injury
Reporting your injury is the most important step you need to make in order to officially make your employer aware that you have suffered an injury on the job. Write a report about the incidents that led to your injury as soon as possible.
If you are too incapacitated to do this then you can dictate the incidents that occurred to someone, let them type it for you and then attach your signature.
Sometimes companies have policies about how to report an injury. Follow these guidelines as closely as possible. Finally, make a copy of your report and give it your direct supervisor.
2. Not Making Claims On Time
There is an expiration date on how long you have to make a claim after your injury. Depending on where you live it may be thirty days or less. That means that speed is important.
Even though you need to move quickly, do not take shortcuts. You want to make sure that you fill out the claim form accurately. Not being timely can cause you to lose your benefits altogether, but not filling out the claim form correctly will result in delays in your claim.
Delayed claims are especially problematic in cases where you have rising medical bills or a family that needs financial support.
3. Failing To Give All The Details To Doctors
Your medical records are of great importance. Your benefits will be based on them.
This means you should not hold anything back when you visit your health care provider or the company's doctor. Make sure you give a detailed account of your injuries and how they are affecting your health and your life in general.
If there is a dispute about your claims, your word will not have as much weight as the certified medical reports from your doctors, so let them know everything.
Since your doctor's report can make or break your case, it is wise to keep all your appointments as well as follow up appointments.
If therapy or rehabilitation is recommended then do not hesitate to do these, since not complying can damage your case.
4. Returning To Work Too Quickly
When you are getting workers compensation your employer's insurance company is the one who feels the pressure. If you have a prolonged illness but are still able to do light work, then the insurance company may try to pressure your employer to give you some work for lesser pay to defer the insurer's cost.
Before you agree to this, you should get a thorough description of the job and have the company doctor and your doctor do an evaluation of your health. The evaluation will determine whether or not you are well enough to carry out the duties outlined in the job description.
There have been cases where the company doctor and personal physicians disagree. If the company doctor finds that you can return to work but your doctor disagrees, you can file an appeal.
5. Taking The Wrong Disability Rating
When you are assessed as being capable of working, you will get a permanent partial disability rating. Pay attention to your rating since this will determine the final worker's compensation payout that you get.
Do not accept any rating that does not put you back at the same level of pay that you had before you received your injury. You can always appeal this rating so do not feel intimidated to settle for a bad rating.
6. Don't Get Caught On Tape
If you are asked by your employer's insurer to give a statement about your injury on tape, then you should refuse to do so. On a whole, it is best not to be taped saying anything about the case or your injuries especially if you do not have a lawyer present. Written statements are enough.
Do not agree to release any medical records that are not directly related to your injury. If you are asked to do this, it may be a ploy to find out if you had sustained any recent injury that could have made your current situation more severe.
It may also be a way to find out if you were on medication that could have contributed to your injury. The bottom line is your employer's insurers may want to find out if you were negligent and if there was any way for you to avoid injury.
7. Failing To Seek Legal Help For Your Workman's Comp Claim
You should seek out legal representation whenever possible. When you have an injury, the last thing you should be worrying about are the ins and outs of the legal system.
You should instead focus on your recovery. A good workers compensation lawyer usually does not take payment until you have gotten a settlement, so you can almost always afford a lawyer.
You need someone to ensure that your claim is sent in on time and that your claim forms are filled out correctly. This will help you to avoid delays in your payment. Having legal representation also makes it less likely that you will be taken advantage of during this whole process.
Getting an injury while on the job is never easy. In addition to the pain and suffering you experience, you may find yourself having to worry about how you will pay for medical bills and take care of your family.
This is why you need to make a workman's comp claim. A workers compensation claim will ensure that you get all the necessary compensation to pay your medical bills and take care of your family while you are incapacitated.
To ensure that your claim is processed in a timely manner and that your claim forms are correctly filled out, it is best to seek legal representation. When you have legal representation, you can focus on getting better while your attorney does the hard work of getting your case settled.
If you would like more information on workers compensation or wish to get representation, please contact us - we can help you to get the settlement you deserve.
This site is intended to provide general information about our firm. You should never assume the specific or general information applies to your case without first consulting with an experienced attorney. Sending an e-mail or requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly for specific advice.
If your claim(s) are not timely filed you may be prevented from pursuing your claim. If you have already filed your claim, and you do not actively pursue your claim(s) it may be dismissed.