Avoid these common mistakes that could cause your workers’ compensation claim to be denied.
Workers’ compensation is supposed to be a simple and straightforward system that protects the rights of those who get injured or become ill in the course of their work. However, in many cases filing a workers’ compensation claim is a confusing process involving the insurance companies, investigators, adjusters, and even their lawyers. Injured workers are often left confused on what to do and what not to do. Listed below are some common mistakes that you must avoid in order to recover the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.
Failing to Report a Workplace Injury
It is crucial to report your injury to your employer or supervisor in a timely manner. Not reporting your injury within a specific time frame can jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim.
Failing to Provide a Complete and Accurate Medical History
It is extremely important to tell your doctor in detail how you got injured. Failure to do so will not only make it difficult for the doctor to provide the right treatment for the injuries, but it can also harm your claim. Clearly tell your medical provider about the nature of your workplace injury and how exactly it occurred. If there is a third-party claim involved and you go to court to claim compensation from them, your medical records will act as a crucial piece of evidence.
Not Filing the Workers’ Compensation Claim in Time
Merely reporting the injury will not guarantee your disability benefits under the workers’ compensation program. You need to complete the appropriate forms and submit them to your employer to get the workers compensation benefits started. In Missouri, an injured worker has two years from the date of injury to file a claim.
Not Following the Doctor’s Instructions
A common mistake that many injured workers commit is that they do not follow the orders of their medical provider. Missing appointments or returning to work before the doctor has allowed it can jeopardize a workers’ compensation claim.
Return to Work Mistakes
Depending on the nature and seriousness of your injury, your employer may offer you light duty and you may be required to return to work. In this case, it is extremely important to get the exact job description from the lawyer and have your doctor assess it to see whether you are capable of performing the particular job. You must return to work only if your doctor feels that you are fit to do so.
Not Consulting a Workers Compensation Lawyer
In many cases, an injured worker will not require the services of a workers’ compensation attorney as the benefits start automatically as soon as the claim is filed. However, in cases that are complicated, the employer or insurance company may deny benefits. It is important to retain a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney that is experienced and competent. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300.