When you’re injured on the job, worker’s compensation can provide you with benefits you need to recover and even live your life comfortably if you’re unable to return to work at full capacity. However, these cases can be complex, and it’s not uncommon for their difficulty to make the process tedious and confusing, especially for those who have never had to deal with it before. Fortunately, having good representation on your side and following a few simple tips can make your case smoother and more likely to be successful right from the start.
Our blog takes a look at four of these important tips and explains how each of them will work toward helping you get the case result you’ve been looking for.
Report Your Injury Immediately
The first step in any worker’s compensation case is to report your injury to your employer. If you never report your injury, you can’t file a worker’s compensation case. Simple as that. The longer you wait to notify your employer of your injury, the easier and more likely it will become that they choose to contest your injury claim on the basis that your injury could have been caused by your actions outside of work. You have up to a year to file your workers’ compensation claim (or up to three years of the first appearance of a symptom of your injury) but the sooner you notify your employer of accident, the better your case will be.
See a Doctor Immediately
One of the worst things you could do after being involved in an accident in the workplace is to wait to go see a doctor in the event that your injury “isn’t that serious.” Far too many people have delayed seeking medical attention for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, only to realize that their condition worsened and they were in much worse shape than they initially anticipated. Of course, by this point your employer can argue that the injury you sustained may have been aggravated by something you did outside of work and they’ll deny your claim. Therefore, if you’ve been involved in an accident where you may have sustained an injury, see a doctor immediately.
You may not be able to see your own doctor initially, either. Employers vary based on their workers’ compensation insurance, but some have a designated list of medical professionals from which you must choose one to see for your first evaluation. After this principal evaluation, you have the right to see any doctor of your own choosing, but make sure that you don’t skip this important step.
Keep Detailed Records
The best thing you could have to ensure your case goes smoothly is evidence. While tracking your healing is the primary evidence in one of these cases, you’ll also want to make sure you have complete records of your own to support your claims. If you visit the doctor, make sure you keep a copy of the visit, as well as any treatment they provide. If you speak with someone at the workers’ compensation insurance company about your condition, note who you spoke to, what time the call occurred, and what was discussed. If you send any records to anyone, note when, where you send them, and what you send. Keep receipts for expenditures that relate to your case, such as travel expenses to get to and from your doctor appointments. It may be a monster of an organization job, but making the effort could mean you have the evidence to support a critical part of your claim.
Beware Surveillance & Private Investigators
It may seem like something straight out of a spy movie, but if your employer or their insurance company think you may be lying about your case in any way, they will hire a private investigator or surveillance to keep an eye on you. They can’t record you in your own home, of course, but they can legally surveil you while you’re in a public area, as the reasonable expectation of privacy disappears. They can even track your social media usage as well. If they find any evidence that your injury may not be as severe as you thought, they’ll report it to your employer and there’s a good chance your claim will be terminated and you may even face consequences for workers’ compensation insurance fraud. It’s important to make sure you remain on your best behavior while dealing with a workers’ compensation claim.For assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, call Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa P.C. at (203) 583-8299 today.