5 Things You Should Know Before Filing For Workers Compensation

After getting hurt while working, many employees have trouble supporting their family without a consistent paycheck. Workers’ compensation is supposed to help employees who get hurt on the job make ends meet until they are ready to return to work on a full-time basis. However, many people make costly mistakes while filling out their workers’ compensation claims. To get the most out of your claim, it is important that you fully understand your legal responsibilities and rights. Below are some things you should know before you file for workers’ comp and some tips on getting the most out of your claim.

Report Work-Related Injuries Right Away

If you want a good outcome for your workers’ compensation case, you need to report any injuries you sustain at work right away to your boss. Even if you are not sure you will need to be out of work for any length of time, you should report it and have it documented. For the sake of your case, pay attention to deadlines. Each state has specific deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim. 

Get Treatment For Injuries Right Away

It is important for the strength of your case to get treatment for your injuries right away. One reason is that you will have a better chance of recovery by getting prompt medical care. Secondly, it is important when filing a workers’ compensation claim that you prove you received treatment for any injuries you sustained while working. If you take a long time to get treatment, the judge presiding over the case may not think you were hurt enough to warrant a claim. The insurance company will try to say you were not hurt at all if you don’t have sufficient medical documentation to back up your claim of injuries. 

Change Doctors

Most states require injured workers to be initially seen and treated by a specific doctor in the insurance’s network. When you get treated by the insurance company’s doctor, that may cause a serious conflict of interest. They do not always have your best interest in mind when they are treating you for your injuries because they are paid by the insurance companies. Your treatment plays a crucial role in the compensation you could stand to receive in your worker’s compensation case. Because of this, it is important to get a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing after being seen by the insurance company’s doctor. 

Understand Available Benefits Offered

There are common benefits offered through workers’ comp. It is important to understand what options you have available to you after getting injured. Each state has different rules, but many have the same common benefits. They include temporary disability, permanent disability, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and mileage. An insurance company is a for-profit business. Never rely on what your insurance adjuster tells you is available to you. They will most likely leave out some valuable information. 

Watch For Private Investigators

It is common for an insurance company to question your credibility. When they do, they may make the decision to hire private investigators or acquire surveillance of your daily activities. If an insurance company tries to use surveillance footage they came across against you during your workers’ compensation case, speak with a reputable lawyer. They can help you find ways to dispute or minimize the impact of the footage. 

Keep Your Records

It is always a good idea to keep all paperwork and any copies of documents regarding your case. Paperwork to keep with you can include letters from your employer, paperwork about the workers’ comp claim, insurance company correspondence, work restriction notices, accident reports and medical records. Most of this information is crucial to proving your case and getting a successful outcome. 

Appeal Benefits Denial

It is common to have insurance deny a workers’ compensation claim. They do this as a way to save money. However, it is your right to appeal their decision. If this is the case, you need to have a lawyer on your side when you file an appeal. Each state has strict guidelines for appealing the insurance company’s decision. Once filed, a judge will review it and schedule hearings to reassess and resolve the workers’ compensation dispute.

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