Many workers are injured every day while on the job. In many instances, the employer performs all the duties necessary under law to report the claim and the employee recovers their health and returns to work ready to resume their position, however, this is not always the case. In these situations, you may have to file a workers’ comp claim.
Some employers only look to what the injury will cost them. They will think that the premiums for their workers’ comp policy will increase, or that the employee really isn’t hurt as bad as they say and it ends up that the claim doesn’t go as smoothly as it should. The employee may notice certain things that should be seen red flags when they are reporting a workers’ compensation injury.
What to watch out for during a workers’ comp claim
If you are injured and you ask to make a claim, do not follow the employer who advises to wait a while and see if your injury is serious. Claims have to be filed within thirty days, and putting off the report is not in the your best interests as the employee. In addition to delaying the process – that includes receiving medical benefits and salary replacement – the employee may forget something in the accident that is vital to their case going forward.
The employee must also request to see a medical professional at the time of the injury. Going to their own doctor is not the best procedure – ask the employer or human resources person to go to an emergency room, if necessary. You can see your family doctor, but the ones that the insurance company want you to see are going to be very crucial to your claim and any information from your family doctor will not carry as much weight in this process.
The employee should also take notice of the employer’s behavior when asking to make a report about the injury. They should be aware if the employer expresses a lot of interest in what the employee was doing the night or weekend before they were hurt. Employers sometimes believe the claim can be denied by proving it happened elsewhere. This belief also fuels their delaying tactics and they may even become adversarial toward the employee, even if the accident was witnessed by other workers.
You should ask any witnesses about what they saw and include their name(s) in the report. If there are no witnesses, you must be very careful to report the claim accurately and go over it in your mind to make sure your accounts of what happened don’t have any contradictions. Following these procedures can only help an injured worker during the course of their workers’ compensation claim. Making sure that there have been no mistakes early in the process will be the best way to make a valid claim with the workers’ compensation carrier.
Some injuries can occur as a result of negligence, such as leaving wet spots on the floor with no warning signs in the area. In production facilities, safety features on machines have sometimes been removed as they slow down production. Any and all circumstances like those mentioned above can be extremely helpful in making a successful claim.
It may seem easy enough to the average worker who never had an injury to just report it and move on. Consulting with an experienced workers’ comp attorney may seem like an unnecessary step, but the best possible outcome for any injured worker starts with this simple action. The future of the worker and their family is dependent on what happens after the injury. If you have been injured on the job, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Scott J. Sternberg and Associates today to get guidance on how to properly pursue your claim.