You have to take active steps not only to make your injuries better, but to ensure that your actions don’t make them worse.
Businesses in Missouri are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of policy designed to protect both an employer and an employee if the employee is injured while on the job and working under the scope of their employment activities. Workers’ compensation is a system that is based on no-fault, which means that an employee can be at fault for their injuries and still be eligible for compensation. But that does not mean that they do not have specific obligations related to their injuries.
What is a Duty to Mitigate?
To collect workers’ compensation benefits you must do specific things and prove not only that your injuries were sustained while you were working under the scope of your employment, but also that you were actually injured. Part of proving your injuries are real, is seeking the medical attention that you need to show that you were injured. However, having proof of your injury is only part of your responsibility.
Your employer will want you to return to work as quickly as you can to limit their responsibility for your injury compensation. Because of this it is imperative that you take all the steps necessary to heal and get back on track. You do have a duty to mitigate your injuries, which means that you have to take active steps not only to make your injuries better, but to ensure that your actions don’t make them worse.
For instance, if you miss doctors’ appointments, then the insurance company can deny you benefits by claiming that you are making your injuries worse and that if you were following your duty to mitigate your injuries, you would already be healed and back to work. Make sure that you go to all of your appointments and have everything documented so that you don’t lose your eligibility.
Following Recommended Treatments
Also, if you are given treatment options that will help your condition, and you either deny them or fail to follow through with recommendations, then the insurance company might have grounds to claim that you are failing your duty to mitigate your injuries. For instance, if you broke your leg and were given the option of surgery to correct it but refused to have the surgery, then the insurance company can claim that you didn’t do all that you could to get better and return to work.
If there are medical procedures that will make your injuries better, then yes, you more than likely need to follow through with them to prove that you are doing everything possible to return to work in a timely fashion.
Your Duty to Mitigate
To make sure that you are following through with your duty to mitigate, you have to document all your medical procedures, diagnoses, and show up for all your scheduled appointments. It is also an excellent idea to have the help of a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney in your corner to ensure you are taking the proper steps to receive the benefits you are entitled to.
If you have nay questions regarding your workers compensation claim, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form.