Getting injured on the job can result in missed work, medical bills, and lost income. Workers’ compensation is designed to give you the help you need to get through this troubling time. However, there are many errors you can make during the claims process that might jeopardize your settlement.
There are different steps you can take that will maximize your settlement amount. Take control of the situation and ensure you get the highest amount of compensation possible.
This guide will discuss our top tips for getting the most out of your workers’ comp compensation amount. Partner with an experienced attorney (or solicitor in the UK) who can assist you through the process.
Tell Your Employer That You Got Injured
You need to report your injury immediately to your manager or boss. Different states have various deadlines as to when you need to notify your employer of your injury. Failing to report the accident within 30 days could result in you losing your compensation.
The longer you wait to report your injuries, even if it still falls in the 30 days, could affect your case.
Many employers have forms that you can use to tell them about your injury. If they don’t have forms available to you, ask them how they would like you to record your accident.
Get Medical Attention
Get evaluated by a healthcare provider right after your accident, even if you are not showing visible signs of an injury. Don’t assume that your injuries will get better after a couple of days. See a doctor right away.
One of the main reasons to get immediate medical attention, other than addressing your injuries, is that you want to maximize your compensation. If you don’t get medical help, the insurance company might not think your injuries were severe enough. They could reject your claim or offer you a lowball amount.
Know if Your Claim Is Legitimate
One reason you might get denied benefits is if the insurance company thinks your claim is fraudulent. It is important to know what kind of injuries are eligible for compensation.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Performing the same movement over and over can lead to various injuries. These can include:
- Carpal tunnel
There needs to be a clear link between your medical condition and your work.
A work injury can qualify for benefits if it happens due to a work-related task or at your workplace. Examples of on-the-job injuries include:
- Car wreck
- Loss of limb
- Back injury
- Slip and fall
Some workplace environments unintentionally expose their workers to chemicals and toxins. These harmful substances can result in cancers and severe illnesses. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can provide you with compensation while protecting others.
File a Claim Right Away
Notifying your employer of your injuries is not the same thing as filing a claim. You have to do both things to qualify for benefits from their workers’ compensation policy. Your employer can provide you with a form to fill out to file your claim.
Workers’ compensation forms can be confusing. This is especially true if you are feeling groggy from pain medication. Work with a personal injury attorney to ensure the forms are properly filled out. Accurate documentation about your injuries will strengthen your case. Some steps you can take to help your claim include:
- Take notes about everything
- Give details about what led up to your illness or injury
- Notify your union about the injury (if applicable)
Learn About Disability Ratings
Workplace injuries can sometimes cause a disability that prohibits you from working for a time. The disabilities in workers’ compensation claims get broken up into four categories:
- Temporary Partial Disabilities: You can’t perform some of your job duties for a short period
- Temporary Total Disabilities: You can’t work at all for a certain length of time
- Permanent Total Disabilities: You can’t work at any job ever again
- Permanent Partial Disabilities: You can’t perform certain types of work ever again
Those who have suffered from work injuries that result in permanent disabilities will get a disability rating. The rating ranges from 5-100% and gets assigned by your doctor. Your rating amount depends on the severity of your injuries.
Your disability rating will affect how much compensation you receive and for how long. You and your personal injury lawyer can challenge the rating you’re assigned if you don’t believe that you are receiving enough benefits.
Get an Independent Medical Exam
Your workplace’s insurance company might ask that you receive an independent medical exam (IME). These exams are performed by a doctor that works with the insurance company. It is for their benefit, not yours.
Insurance companies primarily use an IME to affect how many benefits you receive. They could reduce or reject your claim based on the information their doctor gathers.
Even with that in mind, you must not refuse to get an IME. The insurance company could terminate your benefits because of that.
Instead, get in touch with a workers’ comp attorney. They will ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of. Let the insurance company know if you change physicians during the process.
Be Careful What Information You Share
When you meet with your healthcare provider, describe how your injuries occurred. Let them know how the injuries affect your daily life. Stick to the facts and be specific.
The information you share with your doctor will affect how the insurance company handles your claim. They will review your medical records and look for details that could reduce your compensation.
Additionally, the workers’ compensation company might want a statement from you about your injuries. You are not legally obligated to provide them with one. Tell them to speak with your attorney instead.
Don’t Wait to Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Navigating a workers’ compensation claim can be overwhelming and stressful. A personal injury attorney will help you through the process, ensuring you get the maximum amount of benefits possible. Follow the smart tips mentioned above, and focus on healing and getting better while your lawyer fights on your behalf.