Common Mistakes Injured Workers Make When Filing Their Claims
Most people assume that when they are injured on the job, they are guaranteed compensation via a workers’ compensation claim. While it is true that it is easier to obtain workers’ compensation than it is to obtain a settlement for a non-work-related injury, it is foolish to think that compensation is automatic in work-related incidences. Compensation is not automatic, and in fact, a claim can just as easily be denied as any personal injury claim. This is especially true when certain mistakes are made.
If you were injured on the job and want to ensure that you obtain the compensation you need and deserve to enjoy a comfortable recovery, retain the help of a skilled Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer. At Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler, & Hovsepian, we have seen one too many injured parties unwittingly sabotage their claims because they made simple mistakes. You can avoid doing the same by retaining the help of one of our legal associates as soon after you sustain your injury as possible.
Mistake #1: Failing to Report Your Injury…in Writing
So, you told your employer that you were injured, and he or she said that he or she would report it to higher ups and the insurance company, but now it has been weeks and you have still heard no word regarding your claim. This is not uncommon. Unfortunately, it may also mean bad news for you. If there is no written copy of your report, then it does not exist. In order for your report to be valid, it must be in writing. More importantly, you must ensure that it is in writing within 30 days of your accident, otherwise you forfeit your opportunity to obtain workers’ comp.
Mistake #2: Failing to Seek Medical Care Right Away
You may feel “fine” after your accident, but that does not mean that you should not obtain medical care as soon after the incident as possible. Many symptoms of work-related injuries are latent and may not present themselves until days or even weeks after the accident. If you want your claims to be taken seriously, visit the doctor as soon after your accident as possible. Make sure to visit the doctor assigned to you by your employer, otherwise you risk forfeiting your claim.
Mistake #3: Failing to Follow Doctor’s Orders
It is not uncommon for injured parties to go against their doctor’s orders, and while ignoring a doctor’s advice is one’s own prerogative, it can be detrimental in a workers’ comp case. If you do not adhere to your doctor’s orders, the insurance company will assume that your injuries are not nearly as bad as you claim or worse, that you do not want to get better. Do not give the insurance company any reason to doubt you and do precisely as your doctor says, even if you believe that his or her concern is unwarranted.
Mistake #4: Failing to Return to Work When Given the Go-Ahead
If your doctor tells you that you can return to work and perform “light duties,” do so, even if it means taking a pay cut. Your failure to return to work tells the employer and insurance company that you do not actually want to return to work, which is a huge red flag that your claim is not exactly honest. If you truly do not feel as if you can perform the duties assigned to you, discuss your concerns with your doctor and allow him or her to make the final determination.
Mistake #5: Failing to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation is not guaranteed, and it is easy to make mistakes during the claims process that can result in a claim denial. You can avoid the hassle of a denial altogether by working with a skilled Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer from the beginning of your case until the end. Contact Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler, & Hovsepian to learn more about how our lawyers can help make the claim process go as smoothly as possible.