If you have been injured at work, the first step is to report the incident to your employer and then file for a workers’ compensation claim.
It is often complicated, and many things can go wrong, leaving you with minimal benefits or getting denied out rightly.
Here are common mistakes you should avoid during your workers’ compensation claim.
#1 Not acting immediately after the accident
Most injured workers are embarrassed, disoriented, or dazed at the time of the accident. You may not even reason clearly, even when you don’t have any outward injuries.
Make sure you keep an account of the events that take place. Remember what you were doing before the accident, the moment of the incident and immediately after it.
It’s better to write down everything because details tend to be forgotten as more time passes by.
#2 Reporting the injury late
Depending on the laws in your country, you may have between six months to one year after an accident to file a workers’ compensation claim.
However, the more time that passes, the more difficult filing an application gets. Ensure that you report the injury to your employer. Usually, organizations ask their employees to fill out an incident report that details the events.
If your employer doesn’t ask for this, you should still send an account of the accident. Make sure you do this as soon as you leave the hospital.
#3 Failing to tell the doctor everything that happened
Your doctor should have all the details of the accident so that they can give a correct diagnosis. Concealing some of the particulars only puts you at risk of not getting well.
Many people are used to responding “fine” when they are asked how they are faring. However, after an accident, this shouldn’t be the case.
Take the time to express all your injuries, pre-existing conditions, and evolving symptoms. In case you start feeling better, ensure that you inform the doctor.
#4 Signing documents in the absence of a lawyer
Never put your name or signature on any document before an expert lawyer reviews it. After agreeing to a settlement offer, the case is considered closed.
It is virtually impossible to revisit a claim once you accepted the settlement offer. Since you might be entitled to much more than you expect; it is imperative to understand your rights before signing any papers.
Never assume that you will have the chance of rectifying issues after the appeal period ends. Approach a qualified lawyer to guide you through the workers compensation claim process.
#5 Falsifying injuries and symptoms
Don’t be tempted to lie about your symptoms or fabricate injuries in a bid to strengthen your case. Doctors usually perform several tests to examine whether your injuries are genuine or not.
Although this could be enticing, it could also mark the end of your compensation claim. Note that insurance fraud is illegal, and it has serious consequences.
Now that you know the things that could devalue your workers’ compensation claim, avoid them at all costs.