Work is an imperative part of your family’s lives and finances, so if you are unable to work due to an injury, you will most likely feel physically, emotionally, and financially overwhelmed. There are an estimated 23,000 injuries in the workplace every day in the United States, and you should realize you are not alone.
No matter if your injury has taken you out of work completely or you must now work fewer hours, workers’ compensation should be available to you. Unfortunately, filing a claim for these benefits can be a complicated process.
If you follow these tips, you can receive your workers’ compensation benefits in an efficient, stress-free way.
Report Your Injury
One of the most common mistakes made by employees is waiting to report an accident or injury to their employer. As an employee, it is your duty to report any injury, whether minor or severe, to your employer immediately after it occurs.
Waiting to report an injury can be damaging, as your injury may worsen over time. For example, waiting for an ankle sprain to heal could lead to permanent damage, or a simple cut or scrape could become infected. Report the injuries immediately to reduce the risk of further complications.
Failing to report an injury, could also affect your ability to receive worker’s compensation benefits.
For the most effective treatment and efficient compensation, it is best to report your workplace injury within 48 hours of the accident. In these situations, the sooner the injury is reported, the better.
Don’t Falsify Injuries
You should never lie or embellish your injuries or symptoms because doctors use their expert knowledge and skilled techniques to determine the cause and effect of your workplace injury and will know if you’re lying.
After a series of tests, your doctor will make notes in your medical file, detailing your injury, symptoms, and recommended treatment. If your doctor believes you are exaggerating symptoms, notes will be made in your medical file.
If a professional medical provider thinks you are falsifying your injury, your workers’ compensation claim will be devalued, and in most situations, falsifying your injuries will lead to a denial of benefits.
Be open and honest about your injury and symptoms at all times.
Get a Second Opinion
After reporting your injury, your employer will direct you to a doctor for a complete medical evaluation. This doctor will most likely be chosen by your employer, and this doctor and medical evaluation will decide if you are able to continue working after your injury or not.
This doctor is legally obligated to treat your injury while having your best interests in mind. However, it is always wise to seek out a second opinion from another doctor. Depending on your specific state laws, the appointment to receiving a second opinion may or may not be included in workers’ compensation requirements.
A second opinion can also be helpful in finalizing a worker’s compensation case and will offer you some peace of mind, confirmation of your injury and the best steps to take for recovery.
Hire an Attorney
Allowing your employer to handle the claim is not recommended because you need a professional who will keep your best interests in mind. Hiring an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation is one of the most important steps you can make when filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
An experienced attorney will have the knowledge and tools needed to guide you through the claim’s process.
If you have recently been injured while on the job, there is help available. To learn more about workers’ compensation claims and benefits, contact Stafford, Neal & Soule, S.C. today.