Getting hurt at work is bad enough. And it can be hard to assert your rights from an employer you’re mighty thankful for. But you’ve got to, or no one else will. A great place to start is our article on easy ways to protect your rights. And that’s what experienced workers’ comp attorneys help you do—safeguard your rights and have the hard conversations with your employer’s insurance company—the conversations you don’t want to deal with.
Here’s a list of sins to avoid in your case. Some we can fix, others we can’t. We hope our list will spare you agony.
1. Not Asking For Help
Many people are uncomfortable dealing with work just to protect their rights. Sadly, some employers resort to intimidation to discourage seriously hurt employees from claiming the medical care they need. While we’re at it, let me assure you: you can’t be fired just for filing a workers’ comp claim.
You may feel guilty missing work and asking for replacement income and free medical care. Supervisors, coworkers, and even human resources might act like you’re selfishly “costing the company money.” The truth is, they are being selfish—and potentially misleading. Your health is at stake here. As for the cost, most employers have insurance policies that pay your benefits. Your employer is probably not paying the bills or sending checks from a company account.
You’ve got to protect yourself by speaking up or you’ll lose your rights.
2. Not Reporting or Filing a Claim Immediately
You've got to notify work about your injury right now. There’s a reporting and filing deadline that can forfeit your rights. If it’s too much to speak up, contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney to do it for you. That way, you just go to the doctor and get better. We handle the tough conversations and heavy lifting for you—at least legally, anyway.
3. Accepting a Denial
The insurance company’s claim denial isn’t the final word. It should never be if you’re seriously hurt. If the insurance company was always right, there’d be no need for the Workers’ Compensation Commission to decide cases. This is our favorite way to help seriously hurt folks, whether the insurance company denies your entire case or refuses to provide necessary medical treatment.
When your case is denied, you go without benefits longer. And it takes a while to get a hearing scheduled to state your claim to the Commission. At the hearing, you’ve got to know how to present evidence to convince a commissioner you should get benefits. There are rules about that.
4. Going Without Guidance Through a Confusing Legal-Medical-Insurance System
If you’re on your own, you’ve got to answer your own questions and look out for yourself the best you can, because the system just won’t do it for you. Having a skilled comp attorney allows you to take control of your situation. Your attorney will make sure you understand your case and know where it’s going. You will have a navigator to light your path, and you’ll be working with a professional to achieve your case goal—and maybe even exceed it! You’ve got a guide and advocate on your side to help you and speak up for you.
Two surprising, unspoken benefits of good workers’ comp attorneys are simplifying your life and giving you peace of mind.
5. Not Knowing How to Deal With the Doctor
Not knowing the importance of being accurate and thorough with your doctor can crush your case. Hardworking folks don’t want to look like whiners, but if you’re accurately, thoroughly describing your symptoms for a proper diagnosis, you’re just doing your job as a good patient to help your doctor fix you. If you had a prior injury to the same body part you hurt at work, you’ve got to have a clear timeline so the doctor can put in his records how you either suffered a worsening of a prior injury or reinjured a fully healed prior wound.
6. Not Knowing the Value of Your Case
In the end, you may qualify for a cash settlement for permanent disability. Proving your permanent work disability to a skeptical insurance company requires commanding medical evidence and facts that are hard to compile, analyze, organize, and effectively present. That’s why you get a professional to do it for you.
7. Not Understanding the Complexities of Settlements and the Potential Impact on Your Life
In addition to money, your future medical treatment may be at stake.
And if you’re severely hurt, you can’t afford to be cheated out of extra benefits if you qualify for permanent and total disability—which isn’t what you think.
It’s even more important if you’ve suffered profound harm, like a brain injury or paralysis.
8. Handling Your Hearing Alone
Just getting to the hearing involves a complicated process requiring you to know and produce the most vital evidence in your case. At the hearing, you'll be the only amateur in a room full of professionals, but you'll be held to a professional standard. You'll be expected to present your case and evidence, just like a lawyer- which isn't easy, as handling a hearing involves a ton of work.
9. Don’t Sell Yourself Out
Your case is about you. If you need answers, fill out our GET HELP NOW form. You can always call us at 888-230-1841 to schedule a free strategy session to soothe your nerves about dealing with all this, explain your rights, answer your questions, and get you on the path to justice.
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