Dealing with the aftermath of a workplace accident and filing a workers comp claim can be overwhelming. It’s easy to make a mistake if you aren’t familiar with the necessary steps.
That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you steer clear of common pitfalls that could jeopardize your case.
Seeking guidance from an experienced Jackson workers compensation lawyer can prove invaluable throughout this entire process.
1. Not Reporting the Accident Right Away
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a workplace accident is not reporting it to your employer right away. The more you delay doing this, the more suspicious your actions will appear to the employer and their insurer.
The employer and the adjuster could claim that the reason for the delay was trying to avoid taking a drug test. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you got injured, then your claim will most likely be denied.
Also, the insurer may claim that you were not injured at work, but elsewhere, and now you are trying to get workers comp benefits dishonestly.
2. Not Seeking Treatment Immediately or Not Following the Doctor’s Orders
Seeking medical care immediately after the accident is essential for a successful workers comp claim. The sooner you see a doctor after the accident, the easier it will be for your lawyer to prove the link between your accident and the injuries.
If you delay seeking medical care, one of the first things an insurance adjuster will say is that you were not really injured if you didn’t see a doctor. Later on, you decided to milk the workers comp system and get yourself a paid vacation. Unfortunately, it will be very hard to disprove this claim.
3. Not Explaining to the Doctor How You Were Hurt
Doctors do not know if you fell from a ladder at work or while cleaning your roof at home. They see injuries consistent with a fall from a height, but that’s all. It is your duty to tell the doctor where and how the accident happened.
The explanation you give the doctor will be entered into your medical report and will help your Jackson workers comp attorney negotiate your claim with your employer’s insurance company. Also, it will be corroborated with the doctor’s diagnosis, indicating the most probable cause of your injuries.
4. Not Documenting Your Accident and Injuries
Evidence is key in workers comp claims. The doctor did not see where you suffered your accident. However, by taking photos and videos of the accident scene and your injuries, you can clearly prove that you were at work when you got injured.
Moreover, look around for any colleagues who saw what happened and ask them to provide you with statements. Your lawyer may need to talk to them later on, but the initial statement, when the event is fresh in their memory, is very helpful.
5. Signing an Authorization That Gives Your Employer or the Insurer Access to All Medical Records
When you file a workers comp claim, it’s important to be cautious about signing any documents, especially a medical release. While it may seem harmless, signing this form can have serious implications for your case.
By signing a medical release, you are allowing the insurance company access to your complete medical history. This means they could potentially use any pre-existing conditions or unrelated injuries against you when evaluating your claim.
Be aware that some insurance companies may try to pressure you into signing a broad and unrestricted medical release. They might make it sound like a routine requirement or necessary for them to process your claim quickly.
However, don’t fall into this trap; always consult with an experienced Jackson workers compensation attorney before signing anything. In most cases, the lawyer will instruct you to sign a restricted medical release, giving the insurer access only to records related to your workplace accident.
Let a Jackson Workers Compensation Lawyer Guide You during the Entire Process!
The workers’ compensation claim process can be overwhelming and confusing. It’s important to avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your claim and prevent you from receiving the benefits you deserve. By understanding common pitfalls, you can better protect your rights and ensure a smooth process.
When dealing with complex legal matters like workers’ compensation claims, it’s best to have legal representation. Enlisting the help of a Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney, who will guide you every step of the way and prevent you from making these and other workers comp claim mistakes.
We offer each client a free case review, so don’t hesitate to call us at 601-519-4181 and schedule an appointment!