If you’ve been injured at work and will be making a workers’ compensation claim, you need to be sure you go about it the right way–otherwise, you could jeopardize the claim and end up injuring yourself further, literally and figuratively speaking. What major mistakes should you avoid when making a workers’ comp claim? Here are a few:
Not acting immediately
If you’ve been injured at work, you need to act ASAP. Report your injury to your boss and other relevant parties at your place of employment immediately. Do not wait to see a doctor, either; go as soon as you can to get checked out. Acting immediately can help prevent future injury or issues which could arise if the problem is not addressed, and it helps protect you from your employer or their insurance company from dismissing or questioning the validity of your claim.
Not going to the doctor
If you don’t see a doctor, there is no official, expert-verified record of your injury, and that makes you vulnerable to your employer claiming that your injury isn’t real. Additionally, not seeing a doctor means that you don’t know the severity of your injury–it could be worse than you think, and may require treatment or a rest period where you should not work in order to avoid reinjury.
Falsifying your symptoms
You may think you’ll be taken more seriously, or maybe just get an extra day or two off work, if you exaggerate the severity of your symptoms a little bit, but the truth is that any lie or exaggeration can cast doubt on your entire claim. If you falsified a symptom, what proves that you didn’t make the whole thing up? Be totally honest about your injury and symptoms.
Failing to choose your own doctor
When you say you got hurt at work, your company will probably make you see a specific doctor. Don’t think that this is the only medical opinion that you should get–see your own doctor, too. The unfortunate truth is that the doctor your company will send you to is being paid by the company, and may act in the company’s best interest, not in yours. An objective medical opinion is crucial.
Acting against doctor’s orders
If you don’t listen to what your doctor says you need to do to treat your injury, that may jeopardize your workers’ comp claim. Your employer can claim that your injuries resulted from not following the doctor’s orders, and therefore are your fault. Also, not following your doctor’s orders could cause further injury or reinjury, which you certainly want to avoid, for your own sake.
Make any of these mistakes and you might not have a successful workers’ comp claim, which could cause you serious financial hardship, as well as health problems and problems at work. If you’re injured at work, be sure to report it immediately; see a doctor; get a second opinion from your doctor, if you saw a company doctor; be honest about your symptoms; and follow your doctor’s instructions for care and treatment. Failing to do so could hurt you all over again.
If you’re worried about your workers comp claim, give the attorneys at Epstein a call. We have decades of experience handling workers compensation claims, and we’d love to answer any questions you may have.