Once you’ve suffered a workplace injury or illness, you’re forced to come face-to-face with the financial realities of your situation. If you’re unable to work on account of your condition, then your household income can be dramatically slashed, which can be especially problematic when you have medical needs that are in excess of what your insurance provider is willing to pay.
Sure, that can be stressful, but you should be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits to help you offset your losses, right? In theory, yes, so long as you were performing your job duties at the time you were injured and you can tie your injury or illness directly to the workplace accident.
However, a lot of workers’ compensation claimants make mistakes when pursuing the compensation that they deserve, thereby putting their workers’ compensation claim and their future at risk. You need to know how to avoid those common pitfalls.
Commonly made mistakes during the workers’ compensation claims process
Even though the workers’ compensation process might seem easy, there are a lot of mistakes that can be made along the way. Here are some of the most common:
- Failing to follow medical recommendations and secure follow up care: A lot of people who are injured on the job seek immediate medical care but then discontinue that care because they start to feel better. But if you do so, then your employer and its insurer may claim that you’re healthy enough to return to work, which will result in your claim being denied or your benefits being significantly reduced. So, remember to seek all recommended treatment. After all, a lot of times symptoms of workplace injuries can aggressively reappear once you stop that treatment.
- Falsifying information: Some people exaggerate their injuries when they seek workers’ compensation benefits. Don’t do that. Your employer and its insurer will eventually find out that you’ve stretched the truth, which will most certainly have negative implications for you claim.
- Being seen engaging in activities beyond your claimed restrictions: As you seek treatment for your workplace injury, your doctor will probably place restrictions on the physical activities that you can perform. This will help bolster your claim for workers’ compensation. However, if you’re caught engaging in vigorous activity, like lifting weights at the gym or moving furniture into your home, then your claim will be denied, or your benefits will be quickly revoked.
- Procrastinating: In order to protect your interests during the workers’ compensation claims process, you have to act quickly. You should immediately report your accident and injury to your employer, seek immediate medical care, and hastily figure out how to file your workers’ compensation claim. Too long of a delay in any of these areas could put your claim, your financial stability, and your access to needed medical care at risk.
There are several other pitfalls that people tend to fall into when pursuing one of these claims. That’s why if you’re about to seek workers’ compensation benefits then you should talk through any potential problems with your attorney.
Don’t lose out on the compensation to which you’re entitled
There’s a lot on the line when you seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you mishandle your claim, then you could be denied the money that you need and otherwise would’ve recovered. That’s why as you prepare to navigate the process ahead of you, you might find it beneficial to have a legal advocate on your side who can help you fight for the outcome that you deserve.