On the surface, workers’ compensation may seem very basic. If you are injured on the job, you receive compensation for your medical bills and lost pay. But in truth, it’s not that simple. In fact, many injured individuals hurt their cases by making mistakes when filing workers’ compensation claims. Here are some of the mistakes that occur most often.
5 Mistakes that Can Make Receiving Worker's Comp Benefits More Difficult
- Failing to report the injury in a timely manner. Many individuals fail to report accidents that occur at work, especially if their injuries are minor. It is important to note, however, that injuries often appear minor initially but as the adrenaline wears off and the pain sets in, they may prove to be more severe. In addition, although you may not find it necessary to seek medical treatment right away, you may want to later if your discomfort does not resolve. Although you generally have 90 days to file a claim, a delay in filing can appear suspicious. The details of the accident will no longer be clear in your mind, and you may have trouble remembering important details. Report all accidents and injuries, no matter how minor, at the time they occur.
- Refusing or failing to seek medical treatment. No one enjoys visiting the emergency room or a physician, but if you are injured it is important to seek medical treatment. A physician can treat and also document your injuries, which may be important in your case. Also, be sure to follow up with appointments, tests, and therapy as instructed by your physician. Failure to follow a proper course of treatment may be used as evidence that your injuries are not that severe.
- Failing to keep written records. Your initial report of the injury to your employer should be in writing, and you should retain a copy for your records. In addition, you should note all medical appointments and treatments you have received, the time you have missed from work, and any other information regarding your injury.
- Not seeking the help of an attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney is critical in many cases. Workers’ compensation is far more complicated than it may appear, and far too many individuals settle for less than they deserve. The injuries you receive may impact you for a lifetime, so it pays to have an experienced attorney on your side. Your attorney can help you understand the compensation you can expect to receive and can help you throughout the process to ensure that papers are filed appropriately and in a timely manner.
- Behaving in an inconsistent manner. If you have a back injury and cannot work, you probably do not want to be seen at your home, working in your garden. If you injure your wrist, you should not be out playing tennis. Some injuries may legitimately be more painful at some times than others or may limit some activities but not others. Try to view your actions from an outsider’s point of view. Remember, your employer or their insurer may hire a private investigator, and your actions may be used against you. Follow your physician’s advice and limit physical activities as instructed.
If you have questions about your Iowa workers’ compensation case, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorney you can trust. Contact the Pothitakis Law Firm today either online or by phone at 866-804-2917 to set up a consultation.