If you think that getting injured at work will guarantee you benefits then think again. Workers’ compensation claims get denied more often than you might realize. It is easy to make one small mistake that can affect an insurance company’s decision to give you benefits from an on-the-job-injury. If you mix up a few details about the accident or miss a deadline then you could end up without any benefits at all. Never do the following five things if you end up getting injured at work.
1. Delay medical treatment
Some people avoid going to see a doctor at all costs. If you tend to delay medical treatment for injuries or illnesses then that is a great way to get a workers’ compensation claim denied. Work injuries should be checked out immediately by a physician. If you wait to get treated then your employer’s insurance company could use the fact against you. They will say that your injury was not severe enough to seek treatment and therefore must not be severe enough for benefits.
2. File your claim too late
You need to notify your boss that you have been injured right away. If you wait to tell your employer then you could end up getting no benefits at all. In Pennsylvania you must report your injury within 21 days of the incident. If you are suffering from an injury that has been years in the making then you have some leeway. The state does not define a deadline for progressive diseases or injuries because they can be decades in the making.
3. Tell inconsistent stories
You will find yourself telling the story about your injury over and over during the course of recovery. One of the first people to ask you about your injury will be your physician. Your doctor will create a detailed record of the incident. Next your boss will ask you about the accident. You will need to give your employer a written statement about the injury and when it happened. Finally your employer’s insurance company will ask for an official statement.
Your state of mind will likely be very different from post-injury at the hospital to writing down a statement at home. Right after an injury you might get confused and scared. It is easy to get details wrong, especially when accidents happen so quickly. This is why it is so important to have an attorney help you create a consistent and sound statement to give to your insurance company. The resulting benefits will depend on that letter.
4. Don’t give a statement at all
The insurance company will tell you that you are not required to make a statement. Many people take that as way to avoid inconsistencies and will refuse to give an official statement. Although it is not mandatory, it will likely hurt your case and make you look suspicious. Again, if you are worried about inconsistencies then contact an attorney to help you.
5. Fail the drug test
Most companies have a policy that you must take a drug test if you have been injured on the job. This just ensures that you were not impaired at the time of your injury. Many people overlook these policies and find themselves in a predicament when they need to file for a workers’ compensation claim. The quickest way to get a claim denied is by failing the drug test.
If you avoid these five mishaps then you are on the path to getting benefits for your injury. Most people will get some benefits for a work injury, but they might not be enough. If you want to get the maximum benefits possible then it is wise to contact an experienced attorney for help.