Hurt At Work? Don't Skip These Major Moves
Hurt workers sometimes get the benefits they need after an on-the-job injury but it would be foolish to take those benefits for granted. Workers' comp insurers are out to make a profit on the premiums employers pay and are not geared toward helping the victims to get paid. Victims of a workplace injury or illness can greatly increase their chances of being paid the benefits they deserve by making the below moves.
Attend to Your Medical Issues
You must prioritize all things medical after an injury – not just for your own health but so that you can get paid workers' comp benefits. That means seeking medical care, telling the doctor that your injury is work-related, and keeping up with your medical records and paperwork. Your workers' comp doctor will direct all or most of your care after an injury. They will be the ones who decide whether or not you stay home from work and when you can return to full duty. Use an expandable file folder for all paperwork and make notes about all conversations you have with medical doctors, your employer, and the insurer.
Attend Meetings and Hearings
When you are denied benefits, each state has a set of steps required for claim applicants who what to appeal the ruling. Most of the meetings and hearings are important enough that if you miss one your claim could be permanently denied. Additionally, almost all states now require that those seeking an appeal participate in mediation meetings. Mediation is an attempt to work out a claim without taking it before a hearing officer. These meetings are not optional.
Attend To Your Public Appearances
Unfortunately, workers' compensation fraud is perceived to be rampant and that means your every public move may be watched by investigators. The insurers loathe providing benefits to workers who deserve then look for reasons to deny the workers what they deserve. One thing they do is to follow claimants around with the goal of seeing them do things they should not be able to do given their injuries. While some injured workers have good days where they try to get out and enjoy themselves a bit, be wary of being watched while you are out and about or you could be accused of workers' comp fraud.
Attend to Legal Help
All injured workers need to know when to call on a legal professional to assist them with their case. If your claim is denied, call a workers' comp lawyer. If you are being told to return to work but you are still hurting, call a lawyer. Finally, if you are permanently injured, do not try to negotiate with the insurance company on your own. Most workers' comp lawyers work on a contingency fee basis so that means your legal fees will come out of your settlement.
To learn more about a workers' compensation case, contact an attorney near you.