If you fail to get the compensation you need for your workers' compensation claim, your injury could devastate you financially. Unfortunately, a lot of clients with workers' compensation claims make simple mistakes that make it more difficult to achieve compensation.
The following are six mistakes you need to avoid after your injury to maximize the chances that you'll be compensated for your claim:
Failing to document your treatment
One of the most important things you need as a patient filing a workers' compensation claim is documented proof that you have been following treatment recommendations.
If you cannot prove that you have followed treatment, the judge or court may consider that you are not serious about treating your injury and getting back to work but are only seeking money.
Delaying rather than immediately reporting an injury
You will have to meet a deadline for reporting your injury for your claim to be considered valid. You cannot wait a significant period of time after experiencing your injury before reporting it.
File your claim as soon as possible after your injury to avoid losing your right to benefits.
Procrastinating about seeking treatment
Your claim will be significantly weakened if you attempted to ignore your injury for a period of time before seeking treatment. In this case, the insurance company may argue that your current condition is more the result of your negligence than the result of the injury itself.
Continuing to go to the doctor that your employer's insurance company provided
Depending on what state you're in, it may be necessary for you to initially see a doctor provided by your employer's workers' compensation insurance provider for treatment for your injury.
It's in your best interest to switch doctors after you have met any requirements regarding the insurance company's doctor. This doctor works for the insurance company and may be more eager to appease the insurance company than you as the patient can.
Finding your own doctor will ensure that you get the treatment you need and that a conflict of interest with the insurance company will not compromise the quality of your treatment.
Going into an independent medical examination with no preparation
The insurance company will typically request an independent medical examination that will produce a report summarizing the insurance company doctor's opinion on your condition.
You need to prepare for this examination by reviewing your medical records and discussing the examination with your attorney so that you give the right responses. Your responses during this medical examination will be closely scrutinized by the insurance company's doctor.
Being unaware of possible surveillance
In some cases, an insurance company may hire a private investigator to witness the claim filer contradicting any statements made in the workers' compensation claim.
If the private investigator witnesses the claimant doing heavy lifting or engaging in physical activity after claiming that the injury has rendered them incapable, the private investigator's testimony could potentially be used to fight the claim.