The steps you take after a work injury could affect the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim, either positively or negatively. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of uncertainty and confusion after a work injury, which often causes injured workers to make a variety of mistakes and oversights.
Contacting a lawyer can be an important step to take, as an experienced attorney can take steps to help protect your claim. Your lawyer can also appeal if your claim was denied. Employers and insurers often unfairly deny claims, and having an attorney often causes employers and insurers to take your claim more seriously.
Report Your Injury Right Away
This is one of the easiest ways to show a strong connection between your injury and your job. If you do this, you leave much less room for any doubts or suspicions about when your injury occurred. If there is a significant gap in time between the injury and when you report it, you will need to explain why this gap is there.
While you have up to 30 days to report your injury, it is better to do so as quickly as you can. Your employer will be looking for any reason to deny your claim, even if it seems obvious your injury should allow you to receive benefits.
Get to a Doctor as Soon as Possible
This step is also important for creating a connection between your job and your injury. If you wait to seek treatment, the insurance company and your employer will wonder why you waited. They may claim you were injured outside of work and are just looking to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Even if you do not think the injury is that serious, it may get worse over time. It is best not to take chances and get to the hospital or doctor’s office right away.
Unfortunately, you cannot see your own doctor, you must choose from a panel of three doctors chosen by your employer or its insurance carrier.
Be Consistent with What You Say About the Situation
One way to prevent inconsistencies in your statements is to limit how much you say. There is no need to get into too many details about the accident right away. When reporting the accident to your employer, just stick to the basic facts about what happened. There is no need to say anything specific about your injuries, other than that you are seeking treatment.
Be open with the doctor about the pain you are feeling and any other symptoms you are experiencing. Do not exaggerate the severity of your injuries, but do not underplay the severity of your injuries either.
Consistency in your statements is important because your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer will look for anything to use against you.
It may be a good idea to write down what you remember about the accident as soon as possible. You can easily forget important details very quickly. Your notes can help ensure you are accurate in your statements.
Talk to Witnesses
If there were any witnesses, get their names and contact information as soon as possible. Ask them what they saw and take notes or ask them if you can record a video of your conversations. Your attorney can contact witnesses later to help build a strong case on your behalf. Witness statements can be particularly helpful if you need to appeal a denied claim.
Call Geoff McDonald and Associates to Set Up Your Free Legal Consultation
The Richmond workers’ compensation lawyers at our firm offer a free legal consultation to discuss your situation, whether you already filed a claim or are considering it. We are prepared to manage the entire process on your behalf.
We know how devastating it can be to be out of work because of a work injury. We also know how important workers’ compensation benefits can be to victims and their families.
Our firm has helped many work injury victims recover benefits to help them through this difficult time. Over more than two decades, we have obtained more than $400 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.