If you’ve recently been injured on the job, the best way to protect your health and your family’s future is to file a workers’ compensation claim. The process of filing the claim and receiving your benefits can be confusing, and you might not understand what to disclose and what can jeopardize your claim.
Don’t allow a simple blunder to derail your workers’ compensation claim; instead, here are a few mistakes you need to avoid.
Waiting to Report Your Injury
No matter the severity of your injuries, they should always be reported to a supervisor or manager immediately. Depending on your employer’s policy, you will provide a verbal notice, a written statement or both. Even if it’s not required, provide a written statement that details your injuries.
Do not rely on your supervisor to document your verbal notice or to support your version of the story.
In addition to providing a formal statement, gather statements from any coworkers who witnessed the accident. Any information that supports your claim will ultimately help you successfully receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Report your injuries before the end of your shift, as well. If you wait until the following day, your employer can argue that the injury didn’t occur at work.
Not Providing an Accurate Description of Your Injuries and Pain
Another common mistake workers make is not providing a thorough and accurate description of the incident, injuries, and the pain they are experiencing, to their physician. It’s the duty of a physician who is assigned to your case to make an accurate assessment of your injuries, and provide a treatment plan.
If you are not forthcoming, the doctor might assume the injuries are not severe or that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, be honest about how the injury occurred and how it affected your life.
Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders
During your initial visit, your doctor will assess your injuries, let you know when you can go back to work and outline any restrictions you must follow. Unfortunately, if you do not follow these orders closely, it can jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim.
For example, if you are placed on light duty and forego these instructions by performing your regular duties at work, your employer might question the extent of your injuries, and deny your claim. Conversely, if you are cleared by a physician to return to work and you stay home, the insurance company might assume that you lied about your injuries and don’t take your job seriously.
Sharing Too Much on Social Media
Social media allows you to stay in touch with relatives and friends and share your life experiences — including your injuries at work. Posting photos of yourself enjoying a day at the lake or playing pool with friends at a local bar can put your workman’s compensation claim at risk.
It’s not uncommon for employers to monitor their employees on social media. If you are injured and this injury is hampering your ability to perform your normal duties at work or to work at all, and you post photos of yourself online, your employer will question the degree of your injuries.
The best way to avoid jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim is to avoid posting about your injuries or life events or to even stay off social media altogether.
If you are injured at work and have filed a workers’ compensation claim, there are many simple ways you can jeopardize your ability to receive the compensation you deserve. If you have any further questions or require the assistance of an attorney, contact the professionals at Stafford, Neal & Soule, S.C.