After a workplace accident, people often have to deal with emotional distress, ongoing medical problems and lost wages as well. Many are left wondering what to do next after they’ve been the victim of an injury. However, while workers’ compensation will usually cover these issues, there are some things that you should avoid at all costs if you want to get the compensation that you deserve. Here are six things that could ruin your workers’ compensation case.
Do not keep quiet when you’ve suffered a workplace injury. Report your injuries to your employer as soon as possible. Take the time to describe the injuries in detail and how it happened. Don’t assume that it is nothing and sit on it, since you could ruin your workers’ compensation case if it turns out to be serious. Depending on where you live, there is a time limit for reporting, so waiting will hurt you.
Failing to Document Everything
Ensure that everything is documented. Do not simply tell your supervisor about the injury, but instead make certain the injury is reported to the relevant department.
As soon as you can, everything you can recollect about the incident has to be recorded. You have to record everything you were doing before, during, and after the accident occurred. Make sure that you record everything that you, the emergency personnel, or your other co-workers said at the time as well.
Never make the mistake of thinking that some facts may be insignificant. You may never know how important a piece of information can be. And the more time that you wait to record everything, the more chance you have that you’ll end up missing some important details that could be crucial later on.
You should keep a clear record of the extent and nature of your injuries and any pain or symptoms that you had to suffer as a result. One thing you could do is get a calendar and use it exclusively to keep a record of your doctor visits and keep track of your symptoms and progress as well.
Every single expense that is associated with your injuries has to be recorded also to make sure that you get fully compensated. Make sure you keep copies of every bill you’ve been charged in relation to your injury. Record your lost wages, your cost of travelling to and fro your physician’s office, CT or MRI results, x-rays, and lab reports as well. Doing this now will save you a lot of energy, expense and time instead of asking your attorney to retrace the costs for you later on. Make sure that you keep copies of all these bills together in a safe place in a large binder or folder.
Relying on the Company’s Doctor
Don’t drop by the company doctor for advice; ask for a formal evaluation and medical records from your own doctor instead. Get copies of every medical record generated, since these are invaluable to your case.
Relying on the company doctor is a huge mistake a lot of people make when they’re dealing with these kinds of injuries. A lot of companies will try to coerce you into believing that you absolutely have to deal with their doctors. However, you have the right to see any doctor you want, and your company is obligated to let you get a second opinion if that’s your wish, so don’t feel like you have to do what they say in order to get compensation.
It is essential that you give an accurate, detailed account of your injuries. If you don’t fully describe what happened, lacking information could prevent you from winning a case. An inability or unwillingness to give details suggests you’re hiding something. Exaggerating your injuries or events that caused them could cause you to lose your case.
Conversely, seeking medical advice soon after an injury is essential. It creates a neutral, third-party record of the injuries and their severity. Don’t exaggerate or lie to the doctor, since you can’t change the medical record at a later point. Nor should you try to influence the outcome of various physical assessments. However, you could create problems by understating the issue. For example, you could run into problems for mistakes like saying you’re fine instead of admitting all your symptoms or neglecting to discuss pre-existing conditions.
Not Following the Treatment Plan
It is a serious mistake to fail to comply with the treatment plan. If you fail to attend follow-up appointments or don’t follow doctor’s orders, you could lose your workers’ compensation benefits. If you discontinue treatment because you feel better despite doctor’s advice, you could suffer medical complications that workers’ compensation may not cover. If you disagree with the doctor’s advice, continue treatment while seeking a second opinion from a doctor of your choice. You have the right to follow the recommendations of the second doctor if that’s what you prefer.
Another major mistake people may commit is performing acts that go beyond the doctor’s restrictions. If they’ve sent you back to work on light duty, don’t go back to heavier tasks until the doctor clears you for it. If you suffer any pain, discomfort, or other symptoms while on light duty, stop and inform your doctor immediately.
Signing Forms that You Don’t Understand or Agree With
You should not sign a medical authorization or give a recorded statement. Don’t be coerced into signing forms or applications that may be inaccurately filled out one way or the other. Do not assume that an insurance adjuster has your best interest at heart and sign whatever they offer. Know that you have the legal right to consult with a worker’s compensation attorney of your choosing. If you want to talk directly with a workers’ compensation lawyer, view here a company that specializes in workplace injuries.
You cannot afford to make a mistake with your workers’ compensation case. Committing just one of these mistakes could end up in your claim being thrown out, so be careful and make sure that you consult a professional as soon as you can.