From the time you are involved in a workplace accident there are certain steps you have to take to ensure you receive full compensation.
Any misstep could lead to a denial of your claim. You should familiarize yourself with these steps beforehand to be prepared in the event you are injured at work. If your employer denies the benefits citing a procedural error on your part, contact a St. Louis workers compensation attorney and file an appeal. More often than not, this is just a veiled attempt by the insurance company to avoid having to make a payout.
Notify the Employer
The first thing that can cost you a claim is failing to notify the employer of an accident. No matter how insignificant at the time, you should alert your employer of any work place accident you are involved in. Also note any witnesses to the accident in case you need further proof in the future. For an injury that has developed over time, and not directly from an accident, the employer should be told when your physician states that your ailment is work-place related. You should get a statement from him to present to your employer when requesting workman’s compensation benefits.
Choosing a Physician
Your employer reserves the right to choose the physician that will be treating your injury. Even if your own physician is already involved, expect to be sent to one that their insurance company recommends. If you wish to change you must do so in writing and even then only with the employer’s approval.
Refusing Medical Treatment
Throughout the treatment it is important to follow all medical advice and not miss any scheduled appointments. The employer can deny a claim if they feel that you are not taking your recovery seriously. Take for example a Missouri employee who injured her spine while at work. Surgery was used to correct it but proved unsuccessful. Doctors agreed that the failure of the surgery could be attributed to the employees smoking habit and urged her to quit smoking before undergoing a second surgery. Since she refused, her employer stopped benefits on the grounds that the employee was not contributing to her own recovery.
As a result of refusing the second surgery, the employee loses a good portion of her disability benefit as well as further medical care. In order to receive full benefits you must always follow the advice of the physician or it will be construed that your own recovery is not important to you.
Appealing a Denial
There are steps in the appeal process that are important to follow for a successful outcome. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 before starting the appeal process. We can help you obtain expert medical testimony and evidence to present to the board that will strengthen your case. The easiest way you can obtain the total benefits you are entitled to is by following the procedures from day one.
Influencing Factors & Denied Claims
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