Avoid These Mistakes When Applying for Worker's Compensation
Workplace injury often is accompanied by a number of legal options including the receipt of worker’s compensation. However, you need to be careful to avoid certain choices when you’re applying for worker’s compensation. The benefits of worker’s compensation include recovery of lost wages and medical bills, but claiming worker’s compensation can be complicated and confusing, resulting in claim denial or less compensation.
To receive help with your medical bills and lost wages, you want to be sure to avoid making these mistakes when applying for worker’s compensation.
Failing to Report the Work Injury
Always report your work injury as soon as it happens, and do so in writing. Your injury report signifies the seriousness of the injury, and it increases your chances of receiving your rightful worker’s compensation. When you fail to report the injury, you may lose your chance to receive worker’s compensation. In Florida, after a work injury report has been filed, you have two years from the injury date to make a worker’s compensation claim.
Report the work injury as soon as possible, seeking a medical diagnosis as well. Get a copy of workplace policies for the injury report and follow them closely.
Not Seeking Medical Treatment
If you receive a workplace injury, you should seek medical diagnosis and treatment. Your worker’s compensation is meant to cover medical expenses and lost wages during recovery so failure to seek medical treatment can reveal that your injury may not be severe enough to warrant worker’s compensation.
Refusing to See Your Employer’s Doctor
Worker’s compensation laws allow your employer or insurer to choose a doctor to diagnose your injury and prescribe treatments. It’s crucial to show up for an appointment to receive the assessment and treatment. The doctor’s report becomes a part of your worker’s compensation claim. Keep in mind that while you may want to see your personal doctor, your visit cannot be a substitute for the assigned doctor. However, you may be able to work with your insurance carrier to receive permission to see another doctor and request another hearing before a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Every situation is different, and it’s important to know the legal rights available to you.
Failing to Keep Records
When you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, prioritize keeping records of the events from the injury to your missed work and medical treatments. Take note of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. After doctor’s appointments, request copies of your paperwork and keep a record of all costs associated with your injury or illness. These numbers can be crucial to ensuring you receive the appropriate compensation.
Ignoring Doctor Instructions
Part of receiving workers’ compensation for an injury requires that the injured party pursues medical treatment and recovery, which means attending all doctor appointments, physical therapy, and taking medications. Missed medical appointments can result in your worker’s compensation claim being denied. In some situations, you may believe that the doctor does not have your best interest in mind, and in that case, you will need to request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to work with a different doctor.
Failing to Seek a Second Opinion
While you must consult the assigned doctor, you should get a second opinion on your injuries or illnesses. If the second opinion is significantly different than the assigned doctor’s diagnosis, you will want to present this to the commission for your worker’s compensation. To pursue your health and wellbeing, you want to be sure that you are receiving the best care available to you to ensure your full recovery.
Refusing Offered Work
When your workplace offers you work and your assigned doctor releases you for that type of work, you are obligated to accept the offered work. To refuse the work when your doctor has said you can perform the work could jeopardize your worker’s compensation benefits. Be sure to request a written-out job description of the type of work that your employer is asking you to do, and respond in writing detailing why you are unable to do the work. Seek a hearing with the Worker’s Compensation Commission to argue your inability to do the work if you believe that your medical safety is at risk.
Accepting an Incorrect Disability Rating
At the close of your worker’s compensation claim, your assigned doctor places a disability rating upon your final recovery. This rating plays into your final workers’ compensation settlement. Too low of a disability rating means potentially receiving less than you deserve for your worker’s comp benefits.
One of the best ways to avoid mistakes when applying for worker’s compensation is to work with a knowledgeable worker’s compensation lawyer or a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can help smooth the worker’s compensation process and ensure that you receive the money you deserve for your workplace injury or illness. Speak with a lawyer today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.