Every day, across the United States, people are injured at work. After these injuries, many people rely on workers’ compensation benefits to pay their bills and make ends meet. In addition to talking to a workers compensation attorney, there are things you can do to improve your case.
- Do not delay getting the medical help you need. There are a few reasons to get treated as quickly as you can. In the first place, medical professionals can do more to help you when they see you soon after an injury vs. later. The second reason is that any delay in getting the treatment you need can be detrimental to your workers’ compensation case. The insurance company will look for any excuse to not pay you what you need and deserve and not getting medical care right away
- Tell your employer right away. After you have been to the emergency room or have been to a doctor, you need to alert your employer to the fact that you were injured on the job. The clock starts ticking for the workers’ compensation cases and every state has a different timeline for when paperwork needs to be filed. If you talk to a workers compensation attorney, they can give you a better idea of what your deadlines are.
- Do not get treatment from the insurance company doctor. The workers’ compensation rules in your area may require you to have a consultation with the doctor recommended by the insurance company but that should not be the doctor who oversees your care. There is a huge conflict of interest there. The only thing your medical team should care about is how you are doing and doing what is best for you and your health.
- Get ready for any medical examinations done for your insurance company. Your insurance company is going to want to have their medical experts evaluate your progress, the state of your injuries, give their own diagnosis, and look at how your injuries may impact your ability to work. It is worth noting that insurance companies often will schedule an independent medical exam (IME) around the time when they are looking to discontinue your benefits. Knowing all of this, you need to prepare yourself for a different kind of doctor’s appointment than when you are going in to get medical treatment. Whatever you do, make sure you make it to these important appointments.
- Know that people are watching you. Your workers compensation attorney should alert you to this. The insurance carrier that covers your worker’s compensation benefits may send someone to watch what you are up to. Many insurance companies will hire private investigators to make sure you are not faking your injuries. If your claim involves a back injury and stipulates you cannot do any heavy lifting, the last thing you want is for video or images showing up of you lifting large or heavy things.
- Keep copies and records of everything. Tell the medical team you are getting workman’s compensation so you get access to those records. Keep a journal of everything that happens. Your workers compensation attorney can use all of the paperwork and proof that they can get. Anything that shows your side of the story can be used in your case and will make it stronger. It can also help to write down your feelings and thoughts. When you are asked questions about this time later, a journal will help you a lot.
- File an appeal if your benefits are denied. The best thing you can do here is talk this over with your workers comp lawyer. If your claim gets denied, appealing may be in your best interest because often people who appeal can end up getting something after an appeal.
- Go to all hearings and appointments. Even if you have a workers compensation attorney, it makes a lot of sense for you to be present at all proceedings for your case. If you go without legal representation, it is even more essential that you attend.
This process is not a fun one but you can end up getting the benefits and help you need after an injury at work with the right workers compensation attorney.