If you sustain a work-related injury, medical bills can pile up fast and deny you a chance to work and pay them off. Fortunately, workers compensation benefits cover lost income, medical bills, and other losses you incur after an injury.
However, you can make mistakes that compromise your workers compensation claim if you don't seek professional help from an attorney. Check out a few common mistakes that you should avoid for a successful claim.
Failing to Report an Accident
You can ruin your workers compensation claim if you fail to report your injury to your employer. Ideally, you should report the injury to your employer in writing and as soon as possible. Your written report should include details such as:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- A description of the injury
- Events that led to the injury
- Names and statements of witnesses
Refer to your employer's guidelines for reporting injuries so you don't omit any details that might compromise your claim. If no employee manual exists, ensure your human resources manager is aware of your accident.
Afterward, the relevant parties will escalate the matter to your organization's insurance provider for compensation. If you don't report the work-related injury to relevant parties, you have to cover all expenses out of pocket.
Seeing the Wrong Doctor
In an emergency, you can receive treatment from any physician or hospital. However, for non-emergency cases, you should follow your state's guidelines if you belong to your workers compensation service. Generally, the law allows employers and their insurance providers to appoint doctors to attend to injured workers.
If you fail to see your appointed doctor, you could lose your benefits. Moreover, the sooner you see your doctor, the sooner you get treatment for your injuries.
A doctor's medical report also captures details that show whether:
- Your injury is work-related
- Your medical history caused your injury
- You have a permanent disability
If you are unhappy with the doctor your employer assigns to you, or your condition isn't improving, you can change doctors. But you must first seek your insurance carrier's consent.
Not Hiring a Compensation Lawyer
Unfortunately, most employees don't hire a workers compensation lawyer after they sustain injuries at work. They fail to hire lawyers because they don't understand how a lawyer can help or fear victimization from their employer.
A lawyer actually increases your chances of getting the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Although the lawyer receives a cut of your payout from the insurance company, you still receive more than you would get if you pursued the claim without a lawyer.
To file a worker benefit claim isn't an easy process. Luckily, an attorney levels the playing ground and ensures you get adequate compensation to cater to proper treatment after a workplace-related injury. Contact a workers comp attorney near you to learn more.