When you’re injured on the job, dozens of questions and concerns run through your head.
I can’t afford to go home, so should I even tell my boss?
It doesn’t hurt that much, should I just keep working?
What if the injury worsens? When should I tell my boss?
How is this going to affect my job?
Most of these concerns can be comprehensively answered by a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer. Unfortunately, many injured employees don’t explore their legal options or accept help from a legal counsel until after their claim is threatened. At Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., we want to make sure you have the answers you need the very moment you experience pain. We don’t think it’s fair that you should forfeit any of your employee rights over a misunderstanding of protocol for work-related injuries.
Avoid These Mistakes in Workers' Compensation Protocol
Whether you’ve recently been injured or you’ve yet to experience a workplace accident, you need to know that certain actions can potentially damage your claim. Before you jeopardize your compensation rights, take note of the most common mistakes made by injured employees. These usually occur within the first few days of the incident, and include the following:
- Failing to report the accident. Regardless of the severity of your injury, if an accident occurs at work, you need to your employer straight away. In addition to laying groundwork for an injury claim, notification can start a timeline of the incident, create a documented accident report, and potentially stop further injuries. Workers’ compensation law requires notification of an employee accident within 30 days of the incident. If for some reason you don't report the accident within this window, your claim could be forfeited.
- Failing to provide a complete medical history. Your employer’s insurance company will want to know about any previous injuries or medical issues which could have affected the cause or severity of your current injuries. If you fail to provide a complete list, and the insurance company’s independent medical review discovers inconsistencies, it may be able to argue fraud or misconduct—both of which can alter your claim’s eligibility.
- Failing to see a doctor or follow his suggested treatment. To prove the severity of your injury, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more complicated it is to prove the cause and effect of the injuries. If you wait too long, the employer's insurance company may argue that factors outside of work contributed to the injuries stated in the claim. Furthermore, if you disregard treatment or a physician's recommended work restrictions, an argument can be made that you’re intentionally prolonging your pain or making your injuries worse—both of which can jeopardize the validity of your claim.
- Failing to seek legal advice before settling. It’s the insurance company’s job to convince you to settle a claim as quickly as possible with a reasonably small compensation. As a result, adjusters may take advantage of your limited knowledge of workers' compensation procedures and laws.
Contact our office today to schedule a discussion about your employee rights. There’s no obligation, and the consultation is free. Attorneys Frank R. Johnson and J. Lance Gilbert have over 60 years’ worth of combined experience helping with workers’ compensation cases. Call now or click the convenient contact form below to get started.