5 ways to ruin your workers’ compensation claim
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If you are injured at work or develop an illness related to the conditions of your job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
These benefits include pay for the time you’re off work, payment of your medical bills, and potentially other benefits depending on your condition. However, the process of receiving workers’ comp requires that you carefully follow the regulations or else you may lose the opportunity to receive compensation.
Here are 5 things that could cause you to put your claim for workers’ compensation in jeopardy:
1. Failure to Report Injuries
One of the biggest components of a workers’ comp case is time.
You have a certain amount of time after you link your injury or illness to your job to report it to your supervisor, and you have a certain amount of time after that to file for workers’ comp.
If you don’t report your injuries to your supervisor by the deadline – even if they’re minor – you lose out on the ability to make any type of workers’ comp claim.
While reporting requirements vary from state to state, a general rule of thumb is that your employer must be notified in writing of your injuries within 30 days of your accident or you discovering that your condition is linked to your job.
Also, don’t assume that just because your boss was there following your accident, that that counts as notification.
You still need to make doubly sure that your employer has an official report of the conditions that led up to your injuries, how you were treated for them, and your prognosis.
2. Failure to Give an Accurate Account
Giving an accurate account of your injuries – and whether or not you had any symptoms or problems prior to your accident – to your doctor is essential.
Not only does it help you get the best care so you have a good chance of getting better sooner, the information you give your doctor is noted in your medical records.
These records are also used by your employer’s insurance company when deciding on a settlement, or in court if your case goes to a hearing.
If you fail, either on purpose or unintentionally, to fully disclose something about your injuries or the events leading up to your accident, it can cause major issues for your workers’ comp case.
Failing to disclose prior symptoms or other information can get your claim for compensation denied, even if you were legitimately injured at work.
3. Failure to Comply with Treatment
As your treatment progresses, you may feel better and no longer suffer from the symptoms you did when your doctor developed your treatment plan.
However, not showing up for an appointment that’s been ordered by your doctor, or not participating in some part of your treatment without first discussing it with your doctor, can get your claim denied.
Even if you feel you don’t need to go to that physical therapy session, or attend that follow-up appointment, it’s important to show up and discuss your condition with your doctor.
The doctor can then make the determination whether or not your treatment plan needs to be adjusted.
4. Posting on Social Media
When you file a workers’ comp claim, your social media posts are undoubtedly going to be under scrutiny by the insurance company.
If you post about going on a hike or taking a vacation when you’re supposed to be in unbearable pain, for example, the insurance company will take that as evidence that you’re exaggerating your condition.
Additionally, posting about how much money you’re going to get from your workers’ comp claim can be seen as a reason to question your motives for filing a claim.
Because it’s very easy to misinterpret even unrelated posts on social media, it is best to refrain from posting anything related to your case or your injury during the claims process.
5. Not Hiring an Attorney
The workers’ comp process can be incredibly complicated and frustrating. Even making one small misstep can jeopardize your ability to receive compensation.
Trying to go through the process without the help of an experienced attorney can easily cost you in your claim. It could mean your claim gets denied altogether, or that you receive less than you’re entitled to.
Most lawyers who take workers’ compensation cases work on contingency, meaning their work costs you nothing up front and they take their fee out of your final settlement.
So, if you’re worried about being able to afford a lawyer while you’re out of work, ask around to find an attorney in Washington D.C. that offers this compensation plan so you get the benefit of representation without having to pay upfront.
Skilled Workers’ Comp Attorney in Washington, D.C.
If you’ve been injured at work, you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries and the time you’ve had to miss work. Trust the team at Lopez Law to get you the compensation you deserve without all the hassle and worry of doing it yourself. Schedule your consultation today!