Every workplace has some injury risk. It can happen in the warehouse, the shop or the office. But, thankfully, an injured employee can recover compensation from their employer if they have had a work-related injury. However, filing a claim for workers' compensation isn't as easy, nor are the insurance companies overly helpful. In fact they look for reasons to deny you. As one may think. It is a complex process. To help you avoid mistakes and better navigate the claim process, keep these simple errors people often make in mind.
Let's take a look at some of them!
1. Not Documenting And Reporting The Accident To Your Employer
After getting injured at work, you need to report your injury to your employer in writing as soon as possible. Failure to report your injury, or just reporting it verbally and not in writing can prove to be unfavorable for your case. Even if initially it is an email, make sure you document the injury as soon as physically possible. Also, take photos of the area around the accident; your injuries, and anything that could be used as evidence of what happened, if needed.
2. Not Seeking Medical Care
There are many workers who would 'ignore' their work-related injuries just to be portrayed as strong, dedicated workers. However, that's a big mistake. Even if you think that the injury that you have sustained isn't serious enough to seek medical attention, you must seek it. Many injuries can occur without you feeling the immediate effects, only to appear at a later date. If you wait — days or weeks — before finally getting checked out, and there is a medical problem, it will negatively affect your case Take your injury seriously, and get immediate medical attention, even if you don't feel pain. Get checked out to make sure there is no hidden damage.
3. Not Consulting With An Experienced Workers' Compensation Lawyer
You might think that you can handle your claim alone, but the truth is – more often than not –, you will need the advice and experience of a workers' compensation lawyer. Do some research and be sure to hire an attorney or firm that (A) has years of experience specifically in the field of worker's comp, (B) has a winning record in court; this validates that they good at what they do and, that they can pick winnable cases, and (C) that they show empathy for your plight; that they inquire about the family and effects on them, come across as open and transparent. Note that workers compensation cases lawyers usually handle on contingency — this means if you don't get paid, neither do they.
4. Not Following Doctor's Orders
It is important to follow the orders that your doctor gives, so that you can not only recover soon, but also to preserve your claim. When you ignore the doctors advice insurance companies may look to leverage that in their favor to help deny claim.
5. Not Maintaining Proper Records
Just like filing for a workers' comp claim is important, it is absolutely important to maintain all the records of your injury, including reports, forms, treatment appointments, and any other essential documents. Photos too. Keep all of these together in one place; a large accordian folder is suggested to keep things organized. This will give you easy access of these records when they are by the workers compensation attorney, the insurance company, and/or the court.
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