Common Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Workers’ Comp Claim
After an on-the-job injury, injured workers must take certain steps to file a successful claim. Many injured employees work with a human resources representative, a state workers’ compensation organization, and/or an experienced personal injury attorney in Kansas City, MO to file their claims. Any mistakes during the process can delay or prevent an injured worker from receiving fair benefits. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to protect your claim after a workplace incident:
Mistake 1: You waited to notify your employer about your injury
For seemingly minor incidents, you may not think about telling a supervisor or filling out an accident report. Whether you fell or tweaked your back moving your boxes, you may not experience symptoms of a serious problem until days or weeks later. If you don’t give formal notice that an injury took place, you may not have the ability to file a workers’ comp claim later.
How to avoid the mistake: Look over your employee handbook or ask your supervisor about workplace accidents. Your employer likely has a section on workplace incidents and what you should do after an injury. Anytime you suffer an injury, let someone in a management position know and request to file a report. Use specific details to describe the incident. However, failing to or waiting to give your employer notice doesn’t always preclude you from filing a workers’ compensation claim. Talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to find out more about your specific case.
Mistake 2: You did not go to your own doctor for a medical evaluation after your incident
Many employers require employees see specific health care practitioners after an accident. Unfortunately, some of these practitioners may have biases because of their position.
Avoiding the mistake: Any time you feel a medical evaluator hasn’t treated you fairly, seek a second opinion. Don’t passively believe what a doctor says must be true, especially if he or she is someone who hasn’t treated you before. While an employer sponsored physician will not lie to you, he or she may not provide you with the care you deserve or support your injury claim. Your personal medical records may come in handy if you file a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against your employer later.
Mistake 3: You refused medical care provided by your employer
Your employer is responsible for providing you with reasonable medical care after a workplace injury. If you refuse to cooperate with the recommended treatment program, you may forfeit your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Avoiding the mistake: In Missouri, your employer has the right to choose your medical provider after a workplace incident. If you disagree with the treatment plan, contact Kansas City personal injury attorneys, Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet immediately.
Mistake 4: You agreed to an unfair settlement
Many injured employees want to get through the paperwork as quickly as possible. Nobody likes paperwork, but agreeing to the first settlement an insurance provider hands out may not work in your best interest. Workers’ compensation insurance providers run for-profit businesses. Their goal is to move claims through the system as quickly as possible, which could mean leaving injured employees without enough compensation to cover injury costs. Once you agree to a settlement, you have limited legal options for securing better compensation.
Avoiding the mistake: Consult an attorney before agreeing to a settlement offer. Workers’ compensation attorneys look at claims on a daily basis. They can quickly tell you if the settlement makes sense or if your claim deserves a better negotiation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help injured employees after any on-the-job accident. As a covered employee, fair compensation is your right. For questions about your claim or concerns about your employer or claims adjustor, contact Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet for a free consultation.