Here’s a little secret that you may not be aware of. Insurance companies who payout workers compensation claims want to give you as little money out of their pocket as possible. They are not going to work on your behalf to make sure that you are awarded every penny of workers compensation that you deserve; they’re going to do the opposite of that. If you are facing a workers compensation claim and want to make sure that you and your family are provided for until you are ready to go back to work, here are a few tips for having the greatest success:
- Be proactive about reporting your injury.
In order for your employer to be held responsible for your workers compensation benefits, most states require that the injury is reported in a very short time frame after the incident. In most locations, your workers compensation claim should be entered within 30 days of your injury.
However, even if you meet these deadlines, delaying in reporting your injury makes it more difficult for your workers compensation lawyers to fight on your behalf. Let’s say that you get hurt at work, and then wait two or three weeks before reporting it. While you still have a legal claim, your workers compensation insurance will probably make the case that the injury was aggravated by your own negligence. Anytime you sustain an injury that you think could lead to missed work, you should to take the time to report it as soon as you can.
- Collect contact information from any witnesses.
After you sustain an injury on the job, your workers compensation attorneys will be able to build a case on your behalf based on the information they gathered from people who were present at the time. It’s extremely important to collect any contact information from potential witnesses of your injury, particularly if they were only there by chance, such as witnesses of a car accident while you were working. These key witnesses will be difficult, if not impossible, to track down later.
- Get the care you need, right away.
Get yourself to the doctor is soon as you were injured. If your injury is urgent, go to the emergency room or a walk-in clinic immediately, don’t worry that you’re being overzealous. Some injuries don’t feel very bad initially, but as time goes on, you realize that they are worse than you originally thought. When you delay getting medical treatment for your injury, the insurance company who manages your workers compensation claim uses this is evidence that you weren’t injured that badly.
Additionally, getting yourself medical treatment right away establishes a document trail for your injury that your workers compensation attorneys can use to make sure you are fairly compensated.
- Make sure all reports are accurate.
Insurance companies who accept or deny workers compensation claims use your work’s accident report and the medical records from your initial visit to determine your eligibility. If these reports do not adequately establish that you were injured on the job, it could lead to your claim being denied. Make sure to clearly explain to your employer when filing the accident report exactly how the injury was sustained (although you do not need to elaborate if you’re worried that too many details will hurt your cause). Likewise, you should also accurately describe the situation to your healthcare provider, and make sure it is recorded appropriately.
- Be consistent.
Throughout your workers compensation claim process, you will give an account of the incident over and over: in the initial accident report, to your healthcare provider, to the insurance company, and so on. Each time you describe the situation, you may be asked for other aspects of the situation, and you may be in a different emotional state of mind than when you originally made the report. However, it is important to be consistent in your account of the situation. Any discrepancies in your account could be used by your workers compensation insurance to deny your claim.
Getting the support you need to provide for yourself and your family after incurring an injury on the job is an important aspect of being able to heal and recover properly. Following these tips will ensure you are able to.
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