How To Win A Workers’ Compensation Claim: 6 Tips
Getting injured at work is a stressful and traumatizing experience. A debilitating injury can have a devastating impact on a worker’s long-term physical and mental health and financial situation. That can make it hard to make ends meet and significantly affect the overall quality of life. These awful consequences of workplace accidents are the reason why worker’s compensation insurance exists today.
While workers’ compensation benefits vary depending upon the circumstances and nature of the injury, they commonly include but are not limited to medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, current and future lost wage replacement, and temporary disability payments.
With that said, it is vital to avoid some costly mistakes that may result in the denial of your worker’s compensation claim. Insurance companies can go to lengths to deny you compensation or offer a minimum payout, despite you having a valid workplace injury. With the following six essential tips, you can enhance the odds of winning your claim by maximizing the compensation you deserve for all the losses.
Seek Medical Treatment
Regardless of how minor your injury may be, not receiving immediate medical care will significantly decrease the odds of collecting workers’ compensation insurance that you deserve. As mentioned by a workers’ comp attorney in Charleston, seeking medical treatment is central to collecting benefits. Delaying a visit to your healthcare provider gives the employer and insurance companies robust ground to invalidate your claim by stating that your injuries were not as severe or perhaps did not occur at all.
As time passes, it will be increasingly difficult to connect your injury to the accident, which may lead to the insurance company lowering your compensation benefits or perhaps denying the claim altogether. The reports and documents about the medical treatment will also serve as vital evidence as to the claim proceeds.
Know What to Tell the Doctor
When you visit your doctor, do not appear tough but honestly and precisely explain everything about the accident and injury and how it has impacted your life. The insurance company will meticulously review your medical report, and as mentioned, will try to find a reason to limit your compensation claim or deny it.
Accordingly, explain your injury in detail when interacting with your doctor. What you tell your medical provider will drastically influence how the insurance company proceeds with your settlement claim.
Hire an Attorney
The legal proceedings of a workers’ compensation claim are lengthy and arduous. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney versus self-representing may well be the difference between winning the claim or missing out on the benefits to which you were entitled.
Being represented by a lawyer will build a much better case for a favorable settlement than you can do alone. They will know the art of negotiating with insurance companies without caving into the pressure of accepting a measly offer. Additionally, it will strengthen your chances of winning in court tenfold if the claim proceeds to a trial.
As you recuperate from your illness or injury, the last thing you want to do is deal with mounds of legal paperwork, respond to employer requests, chase down witnesses, dig up medical records, and file petitions.
File an Accurate and Timely Claim
You must file the claim within a prescribed amount of time after the workplace injury occurs. While state laws differ, the statute of limitations is commonly up to 2 years from the time of the on-the-job accident. Failing to submit the claim within the specified time frame may keep you from receiving benefits. Therefore, the quicker you get the ball rolling by filing a timely claim with truthful and accurate information, the more likely you are to succeed.
Be Careful of What You Sign
Often, worker’s compensation insurance agencies request injury victims to sign various documents, including a medical authorization release form. That enables them to collect any medical records and bills related to your injury.
While this may seem like a reasonable request on their part, it is imperative upon you to read the fine print and ensure that the medical information they are requesting is limited only to the dates of your workplace injury and not your past medical history. Insurance companies may try to demonstrate that your injury or illness is a result of an incident in the past and not a workplace accident.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
The essence of workers’ compensation benefits is to assist injured workers with their recovery process. Accordingly, you must do as the doctor advises and not in the way of your recovery. It is vital to keep all doctors’ appointments and follow their recommendations for your treatment, including physical therapy. Failure to do so may result in your benefits being denied or discontinued.
Make sure you do not post anything on social media where you are involved in an activity that the doctor has advised you against. You do not want to be caught doing something that contradicts your claims.
The outcome of your workers’ compensation claim can affect you and your loved ones for many years down the road. Accordingly, you must give yourself the best possible chance for a favorable outcome. By following these steps, you can maximize the settlement value and transcend any financial barriers that may hinder a full, speedy recovery.