Did you suffer a workplace injury? If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. All too often, however, employees make mistakes that hamper their case.
Workers’ Comp mistakes include failing to report the injury, failing to follow a doctor’s orders, posting too much information on social media, and giving official statements to insurance companies. With that, there are other crucial errors you must avoid.
This article will show you the mistakes to avoid when you’re injured at work and how to navigate a Workers’ Comp claim effectively.
Read on if you want to make your case airtight.
10. Failing to Report the Injury
Report the injury as soon as possible to create a paper trail. Reporting the incident means the injury is serious enough to warrant immediate action. If you report the injury, adhere to the following steps:
- Notify your employer
- Allow your employer to take the necessary steps (i.e. Ensuring you get medical attention)
- File a claim within the company
In many states, you must first report the incident to your employer. Then, the employer will file a report with their insurance company.
Failing to report the incident means you didn’t take the injury seriously. Hence, insurance companies can deny your claim.
9. Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Medical personnel can document your injuries accordingly. To win a Workers’ Comp claim, you must document your injuries. You can record your predicament in the following ways:
- Take photos of the injuries
- Save medical bills and invoices
If your case goes to trial, you must show how much you spent on medical costs. If you don’t have medical bills, the court doesn’t know the full extent of your injuries.
Further, insurance companies can minimize or deny your petition outright. If you don’t see a doctor, an insurance adjuster can also claim that your injuries weren’t serious enough to require medical attention.
8. Social Media Posting
Victims should think twice before posting on social media. The other side can use your online postings against you.
- Example: If you post hiking photos, the insurance company can doubt the severity of your injury.
Overall, don’t give the other side any ammunition. Further, the information you post can stay online forever, even if you delete the posting.
You should only divulge sensitive information to a workers’ comp attorney. Your attorney may tell you to avoid social media altogether.
7. Assume Your Boss Reported the Injury
Your boss may not report everything that happened. They could omit inconvenient details that would force them to honor comp claims. Also, your boss may not file a claim at all.
Therefore, request the insurance paperwork to make sure they filed accordingly. Further, read through the claim to make sure they got the details correct. Save the paperwork as well. You may need it during court or insurance proceedings.
6. Failing to Disclose Your Medical History
Insurance adjusters are looking for loopholes that allow them to dismiss your claim. Failing to disclose your medical history could give them a loophole. When speaking to a case manager or an adjuster, disclose the following details:
- Medical treatments
- Other accidents
Stick to the truth, and give details when necessary. With that, you should keep conversations with adjusters and case managers to a minimum. Remember, they can use any detail against you. Talk to an adjuster or case manager under the guidance of an attorney.
5. Failing to Follow Medical Orders
If you ignore your doctor’s orders, an employer or adjuster can claim that you’re partially to blame. Partial blame can result in reduced settlements or case dismissals. You can do your part by:
- Attending doctor’s appointments
- Taking prescribed medicines
- Following treatment recommendations
- Attending physical therapy sessions (if your doctor recommends it)
A flagrant disregard of medical recommendations signifies you’re not taking the necessary steps to recover.
4. Signing Blanket Medical Releases
Insurance companies may request information about your medical history. You’re not obligated to sign a blanket release statement. However, insurance reps could be entitled to medical information that’s specific to your case.
You can sign a limited medical release form if necessary. However, a Workers’ Comp attorney should review a medical release before you sign it.
3. Failing to Report the Accident in a Timely Fashion
Delayed filings can reduce your odds of victory. First, your employer’s insurance company may question why you took so long to file. Second, you may fail to remember key events that would have strengthened your case.
Your employer could also claim that your injury wasn’t dire enough to report immediately. Also, state law compels you to file within a certain timeframe.
Example: Florida law stipulates that employees have 30 days to file a workers’ comp claim.
2. Giving a Recorded Statement
Your employer’s insurance company may try to trap you into an official statement. Adjusters may try to get you on record as well.
They may even insist on it. However, you don’t have to give an official statement to the insurance company.
Provide a statement after speaking with a Columbia workers’ comp attorney. They can coach you on the right things to say during the interview.
1. Filing Without an Attorney
Overall, you’re more vulnerable without legal representation. Your employer or insurance company can deny your claim unlawfully.
Without an attorney, you’re left with fewer options. The courts may also side against you unjustly. To even the playing field, hire an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights.
What's the Most Important Mistake to Avoid If I'm Injured at Work?
If you’re injured at work, notify your employer sooner rather than later. From there, ensure that your employer files your claim with the insurance company. More importantly, hire a Workers’ Comp lawyer when filing a claim.
If you are looking for an injury lawyer in Columbia, SC, Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers can get you the right amount of comp benefits.