Workman’s compensation isn’t straightforward. Like any legal proceeding, there are a lot of steps to get through.
And that means a lot of places you can derail your own claim if you’re not careful.
#1) Failing to report to your employer.
Creating an incident report and giving it to your supervisor and HR is going to be your first step unless you’re unconscious and unable to move after your injury, or are too hurt in other ways.
Reporting starts the claim. And while this might worry you, the truth is the incident report is the first piece of evidence the accident took place on the job. The last thing you want is for your employer to try to make a case that the injury took place while you were at home.
Remember, “fault” doesn’t enter into a workman’s comp claim. What matters is that you were injured while working, period.
By the way, you don’t have to rely on your employer to report the accident to the insurance carrier. You can do that yourself.
#2) Failing to hire a workman’s compensation lawyer, and quick.
You pretty much need a workman’s compensation lawyer as soon as you file the claim, unless the injury was minor. If it’s a long-term injury likely to keep you out of work for days at a time you definitely want someone in your corner.
The insurance company is likely to try to dispute a larger claim any way it can. You need someone who can help you address these disputes.
#3) Failing to get your lawyer’s help with the claim.
Inaccurate or incomplete claims can delay or end your workman’s comp case. Claims which aren’t filed in a timely fashion can also put an end to your case.
Here at the Law Office of Albert J. Talone we help you file your claim in a way that ensures it is above reproach.
#4) Trying to be stoic.
You don’t have anything to prove here. If you’re in excruciating pain, say so. If something hurts, let the doctor know.
It’s really hard to get all your injuries addressed and compensated if you’re pretending they don’t exist.
#6) Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions.
Disclosing pre-existing conditions should not stop you from getting the benefits you’re entitled to under Workman’s Compensation. But some people are afraid to mention them because they think the insurance company will try to say the entire injury is a result of the pre-existing condition.
It’s true the existing condition could complicate your claim in some cases. But if you lie and the lie is discovered, you could lose your benefits and even face Workman’s Comp fraud charges. Talk to your attorney about your conditions. We’ll tell you how to handle them so that being honest doesn’t destroy your claim.
Missing doctor’s appointments or failing to comply with treatments could undermine your claim or result in a loss of benefits. At the very least, it can open your claim up to challenges.
You need to be able to show you’re doing everything in your power to mitigate the injury and to get yourself back into a state where you can return to work.
#8) Failing to have the doctors review your job description.
If you can do some of your job with reasonable accommodation then you have to give your employer the chance to make those accommodations. This means having a doctor review your job description in light of your injuries to determine which parts of the job you can and can’t do while you’re recovering.
As soon as you are medically able to at least return to partial work, you should. If you don’t work when you’ve been released to return to work your employer can terminate employment and you can lose the lost wage benefits.
Do this even if the job you go back to pays less than your original job. Workman’s comp will usually make up the difference.
If you don’t return to work when cleared to you can also be asked to repay workman’s comp for any payments you got after you got released.
#9) Being in too big of a hurry to “get better.”
By the same token, you don’t want to push yourself too hard. Don’t perform any work that’s not within the scope of your work restrictions. Obviously, you don’t want to do any recreational activities that are outside of the scope of those restrictions either.
Anything you do that falls outside of the scope of the medical advice you’ve received can serve as a grounds to end your benefits. Again, this is no time to be tough.
When you work with the Law Offices of Arthur J. Talone you get specific support and answers to questions as they relate to your specific workman’s comp case. We can help you stay out of trouble with workman’s comp while communicating with your employer, the insurance company, and medical personnel to make sure everything runs smoothly.
And when things go wrong, we can fight for you.
Schedule your consultation today.