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What Evidence Do You Need for Your Workers Compensation Claim?

Unlike personal injury claims, workers’ compensation cases generally have nothing to do with fault. However, it is important to document your claim right from the start.

Most employees are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they get injured at work. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but this system is designed and meant to protect workers and give them the peace of mind that if something happens, they are safe. 

stack of documents

Unlike personal injury claims, workers’ compensation cases generally have nothing to do with fault. However, it is important to document your claim right from the start.

What Documents You Need for Your Workers Compensation Claim

When you file a claim for workers’ compensation, you don’t need to prove that your employer was negligent or at fault for your injuries. You need to provide the documents that show you’ve been hurt while performing your work duties. These might include: 

  • Medical Records: To benefit from workers’ compensation, you need to prove a strong connection between your work duties and your injuries or sickness. Your medical records can help establish this link and show the severity and progression of your injury or condition. 
  • Medical Bills: Your medical bills will show how much you’ve spent on treatment so far and how much you should get back through your worker’s compensation claim.
  • The Accident Report: It’s essential to file an accident report and notify your employer about your injury as soon as possible. This document will play an essential role in the timeline of your claim.
  • Employment Records: Employment records, such as the pay stubs, show your wage and can help determine the value of your worker’s comp benefits. 

“Do I Need Witnesses?”

In most cases, the documents mentioned above should be enough to file your claim successfully. If, however, you are unable to reach a resolution with the insurance company, then you may need to bring additional proof to support your case. 

Some of the witnesses that can help your case are: 

  • Co-workers: If a colleague was present when the accident occurred, their statement could weigh considerably against the insurance company’s denial. 
  • Medical Experts: Your attorney can hire an independent doctor to evaluate and diagnose you and give their expert opinion on the extent of your injuries and the treatment they require. 
  • Occupational Experts: If your injury has affected your ability to work, then you may need the help of a vocational rehabilitation expert to prove how your condition may limit your ability to perform certain work duties. 

10 Characteristics of Good Workers’ Comp Evidence

Relevant: The most important characteristic of good evidence is that it must be relevant to your case. That means it should directly relate to your injury, how it happened, and the effects it has had on your life.

Objective: Good evidence is also objective. In other words, it should be based on facts rather than opinions. So, for example, if you’re claiming that your injury has prevented you from working, you’ll need to provide evidence to support that claim.

Credible: The source of your evidence is important. A statement from a credible witness, such as a co-worker or supervisor, is more persuasive than a statement from someone with no connection to your case. 

Compatible: The different pieces of evidence in your case should also be compatible with each other. They should all point to the same conclusion: that your job caused your injury and that it has had a negative impact on your life.

Consistent: Inconsistent statements can weaken your case. For example, if you tell your doctor that you were in a car accident, but you tell your attorney that you were injured at work, it may be difficult to convince a judge or jury that your workplace injury is legitimate. Therefore, your evidence should be consistent. 

Current: The evidence you present should be current or as close to the time of your injury as possible. This is especially important if your injuries have changed over time.

Believable: For evidence to be good, it must be believable. That means it should be something a reasonable person would accept as true.

Accurate: Good evidence is also accurate. Make sure any statements you make, either in writing or verbally, are factually correct and not based on speculation or assumptions.

Specific: Vague statements or generalities are not as helpful as specific ones. For example, saying that your injury has caused you “a lot of pain” is not as helpful as saying that you experience pain at a level of “seven out of ten” regularly.

Complete: A piece of evidence is more persuasive if it tells the whole story. For example, a doctor’s note that simply says “patient injured at work” is not as helpful as a note that gives details about the accident, injuries, and recommended treatment.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at Work

If you’ve been injured while performing your job, you have the right to get full and fair compensation. However, navigating the workers’ compensation process can be stressful and difficult. With the help of an experienced St. Louis work injury lawyer, you can ensure your rights are protected.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

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Updated: May 9, 2022