There is a common misconception that a workers’ compensation claim can be handled without the assistance of others or a lawyer. While understandable, a claim can quickly become confusing and insurance companies are looking for any excuse to stop treatment or drop a claim. If you’ve suffered from a work-related injury and need to submit a claim, avoid these eight common mistakes.
Jeopardizing Your Workers’ Compensation Case
You Don’t See a Doctor
After the initial shock of your injury wears off, you may begin to feel better and decide not to see a doctor. If you’ve sustained any injury beyond a cut or scrape, you must see a doctor within two days of your injury. The doctor will complete a preliminary report that must be mailed to the appropriate District Office. Copies of the report must also be sent to your employer or the insurance carrier, you, and your representative.
You Don’t Immediately Report Your Injury
You cannot receive Workers’ Compensation benefits without reporting your injury to your employer. You need to inform your employer of injury and symptoms in writing as soon as possible but within 30 days.
You Don’t Provide Enough Details
Similar to submitting a claim after a car accident, you need to write down every detail you can remember, no matter how small. If you’re too vague the insurance company may try to argue that the claim is deceitful.
You Trust That Your Employer and Its Insurance Company Are Looking Out for Your Best Interest
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked for your employer or how valued you are, your employer and the insurance company do not want to spend money on you. Every time you receive treatment, miss a day of work, or visit the doctor, your employer loses money.
You’re Not Organized
Even though you’re tired and recovering from your injury, you must document everything. Keep a notebook and use it to record doctors’ visits, what your employer says to you, lists of symptoms and medications, and any other pertinent information. You should also keep receipts from doctor’s appointments and request results from all scans and tests. When you’re asked to provide details, you’ll have all the materials you need.
You Sign A Medical Authorization for the Insurance Company
If a representative from the insurance company contacts you requesting a recorded statement or that you sign a medical authorization, do not proceed! They may be trying to collect past medical records from you, even ones that do not relate to your work-related injury. An attorney will be able to inform you as to which relevant documents you should send.
You Don’t Follow Doctor’s Orders
It’s important that you do exactly as your doctor tells you to. Working beyond your capability will impact your healing and give the insurance company a reason to invalidate your claim. Insurance companies can also go so far as to search through your social media profiles for photos that can discredit your claim. If you skip appointments or don’t return to work when the doctor says you’re able, the insurance company can claim you’re healthy but don’t want to work.
You Don’t Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Trying to navigate a workers’ compensation claim on your own is not in your best interest. An attorney will guide you through the process and ensure you follow all necessary steps to receive the benefits you deserve.
At Erwin, McCane, & Daly we offer a consultation to learn more about your case and give you a prediction as to the outcome you can expect. We handle your case personally and go to any hearings that are held. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys, fill out our form or call (518) 449-2245.