It can be difficult to decide how to proceed with a claim if you’ve never experienced it before. Figuring out how much your claim will cost and what to do if your employer denies your claim can seem overwhelming, and that’s why it’s important to take certain steps prior to meeting with your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.
Be sure to collect as much information as possible about your injury and how it occurred. You should also ask your employer, or their insurance company, for an official copy of your work history (called a timesheet). This information will help your attorney know what type of position you had, what types of work-related tasks you did daily, and if any other employees in similar positions have been injured before. It is also very important that you keep all records relating to the medical treatment that you have received. Including doctor’s notes regarding prescribed medications and any restrictions imposed by doctors.
Here are 5 things you need to know before meeting with a lawyer about your case:
1. Workers’ Comp Is Not Mandatory
In every state, employers must purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance, or get a waiver. However, just because your employer has purchased this insurance doesn’t mean they will pay out if you’re injured on their property. This can depend on policy language or interpretation of certain sections by management and staff.
2. Your Injury Must Be Work-Related
Many types of injuries aren’t considered work-related even if they happen during business hours or occur because of negligence by co-workers or supervisors. Before meeting with your lawyer, be sure that your case is valid.
3. Your Injuries Must Be Serious
All states impose time limits within which employees must file claims for benefits, which can often be as soon as 30 days from the date of injury or knowledge of harm. Receiving a doctor’s opinion quickly is essential to preserving your right to future compensation.
4. You Can Get Treatment Without Filing a Claim
When you visit a doctor within 72 hours of being hurt on the job, be sure and ask them to give you information regarding how the treatment should be billed so there’s no confusion later. This saves paperwork and provides proof that when seeking medical care following an accident caused by another party’s negligence, it was done in good faith and not as part of a personal injury lawsuit plot against your company.
5. The Limitations Period May Impact Your Case
Did you know that in most states there is either a statute of limitations on damages for job-related accidents and illnesses, or it runs indefinitely? Many people don’t realize that there might be a limitation period on their cases as well. A failure to comply with these rules could prevent your case from ever seeing trial.
You might also be wondering who is going to pay for your medical treatment and any other financial burdens you may have. You may assume that it will be your employer or their insurance company. In most cases, however, it will be neither of them. Your employer’s insurance policy will cover most of your costs if they are determined to be work-related. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to avoid paying as much as possible, but it does mean that there are rules and regulations in place meant to ensure that injured workers receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries.
To avoid wasting your time meeting with an attorney who doesn’t specialize in Workers’ Compensation claims, ask about their experience and approach when you call to schedule your appointment. Choose Erwin, McCane & Daly. We are a trusted source for people who need representation.