Injured workers are responsible for reporting incidents to employers, and they must file a workers’ comp claim. This is a complex process where multiple things can go wrong, leaving the worker with little to no benefits. Below are several mistakes to avoid when making a workers’ compensation claim.
Not Hiring an Experienced Attorney
Employees can benefit from a lawyer’s help when pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. In many instances, those with legal representation receive a larger settlement. Attorneys in this area know the intricacies of the workers’ comp system, and most offer free consultations. When a client hires an attorney, they are not charged until the case settles. Workers’ compensation lawyers help clients throughout the process, and they provide representation during appeals if necessary.
Not Reporting the Incident
Submitting an incident report as soon as possible is a critical step in a workers’ compensation claim. The worker should follow corporate reporting and response policies. If no such policy exists, the worker should create a detailed report on the injury and its circumstances. The report should be furnished to the HR department and the company’s healthcare provider.
Failing to Submit the Claim Accurately and on Time
Workers’ comp claims start with the accurate, complete and timely filling and submission of forms. Late submission can result in claim denial, and inaccurate or incomplete forms can lead to delays, denials, and lengthy appeals. A workers comp attorney can help workers fill and submit forms correctly and on time.
Not Explaining the Injury to Doctors
Workers’ compensation benefits are based on the employee’s medical records and the accident report. If disputes arise, medical providers remain impartial and records carry significant weight. The insurer’s doctor should know as much as possible about the incident and its effects on the client’s life.
Failure to Follow Physicians’ Orders
Workers’ comp benefits are there to help injured workers recover. If a person is perceived as inhibiting his or her own recovery, their benefits may be discontinued or denied. It is important for workers to keep all appointments and follow doctors’ recommendations for medical therapy and treatment. If the client disagrees with the physician’s orders, a Cleveland workers compensation attorney can help them take the right steps. While the process is ongoing, however, the client should follow the doctor’s orders.
Not Getting a Second Opinion
An injured worker must visit the company’s doctor, but they should also make an appointment with their private physician. A person’s doctor knows their medical history, and they can provide a dissenting opinion if the company physician says the employee can go back to work before they are fully recovered. If a private physician’s opinion is in the claim record, a Cleveland Workers Compensation Lawyer has a higher chance of success during the appeals process.
Going Back to Work too Early
Workers’ comp costs the insurer money. As a cost-cutting measure, an insurer may pressure employers to find other work for injured employees. Even if a lesser position’s take-home pay is lower, it can offset a portion of the insurance company’s costs. The worker should ask for a job description and ask their doctors to review it and determine whether the employee can perform the duties during recovery. A worker does not have to accept duties not approved by the physician of record, and a workers compensation lawyer in Cleveland can file appeals if the client’s private physician disagrees.
Not Looking for Other Work
Conversely, if a person has recovered to the extent they can work, they should do so. If a client of a disability compensation attorney in Cleveland has a partial disability, they are required to look for and take on work they can handle. As recovery progresses, the client should contact the employer to find out when they can return to the job. If wages are reduced because a disability forces the client to take a lower-paying job, the person may be eligible for a reduced wages benefit.
A workplace injury can have long-lasting consequences for an employee, and workers’ compensation coverage helps an injured worker get back to normal. By avoiding the mistakes above, a client can maximize their claim and reduce the chances of a denial.
Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with an attorney today.