What Mistakes Could Mess Up My Workers Comp Claim?
When someone comes to see us because their workers comp claim was denied, the first thing we need to know is why. Was it something that you did? Or was it denied for some other reason? It makes a big difference whether you made a mistake that jeopardized your workers comp claim, or your employer just didn’t believe you were entitled to benefits.
You’d be surprised at some of the simple mistakes people make that go on to cost them their workers comp benefits. Our Charlotte workers comp attorneys meet with people every week who have been going without benefits due to a simple error.
Therefore, we felt it was important to explain some of the biggest mistakes our clients have made regarding their workers comp claim. If you feel that you’ve already messed up your workers comp claim by making one of the mistakes discussed here, call our office right away. You can sit down with one of our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers and discuss what possible options may be available to you.
Some People Don’t Report Their Injuries to Their Employer
One of the biggest mistakes people make with their workers comp claim is they forget to report their accident to their manager or human resources. As far as the workers compensation commission is concerned, if you didn’t report your injury, it didn’t happen.
Even if you wait more than an hour or two to report your accident, you’re making it easy for your employer to deny your workers comp claim. All they have to say is that something happened while you were on lunch or break (or off company property) that caused your injuries. If there are no witnesses and no video camera to capture the incident, you may end up not receiving benefits.
If you forgot to report your injury or didn’t report it in time, our Charlotte workers compensation attorney may be able to help. They will reach out to your employer and the insurance carrier and let them know that they’re now handling your workers comp claim. Once your employer knows that you’ve retained a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer, they may be more amenable to approving your workers comp claim.
You Don’t Want to Forget to Fill Out an Accident or Incident Report
Another thing you don’t want to forget to do is fill out an accident or incident report. If you read your company’s policy regarding workplace accidents, there should be a form there that you can fill out to document your injuries. You may be asked to complete this form prior to going out to receive medical treatment.
If you’re unable to do this because your injuries are severe, let your employer know and try to at least give a verbal statement as to what happened. Worst case, your manager can fill it out for you, or you can fill it out once your emergent injuries have been treated.
Without this report, your Charlotte workers compensation attorney will have no way to prove that your injuries were caused by a workplace accident and your workers comp claim will be denied.
Do Not Refuse Medical Treatment
It’s very important that you seek medical treatment immediately after your workplace accident. This is the only way you can determine how bad your injuries are. It’s also the only way you’ll qualify for workers compensation.
If you go to see your own primary physician or some other doctor not approved by the state, your medical bills will not be covered under workers comp. In addition, you could be in jeopardy of having your workers comp claim denied. This is also true for ongoing medical treatment. You are only allowed to be treated by your state-approved workers compensation doctor.
The only time you can see another physician is if your Charlotte workers compensation lawyer wants you to get a second opinion. If your workers compensation doctor determines that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and you don’t agree, you can see an independent doctor. They’ll examine you and run their own tests.
If they feel that you’re not quite ready to go back to work, they’ll say so in their report. Once your Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer has a copy of this report, they’ll reach out to the insurance carrier. They’ll try to negotiate additional weeks of benefits until you are truly ready to return to work.
If Your Initial Workers Comp Claim is Denied, Don’t Just Accept a Denial – File an Appeal
There are times when an employee’s workers comp claim is denied, and they don’t think they have any options. If you let too much time go by before you file an appeal, you’ll lose your chance to do so. This is why we recommend you meet with an experienced Charlotte workers compensation attorney right away. They can help you file an appeal. If this doesn’t work, they’ll be more than happy to file suit on your behalf.
Make Sure You Comply with Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan
One mistake you can make regarding your workers comp claim is refusing to comply with your doctor’s treatment plan. As explained above, you don’t have any choice in the matter of who treats you. Once your state-approved workers comp doctor is assigned to you, they’re the only physician that can treat you. You must go along with their treatment plan.
If you refuse to participate in your own care, your benefits may be terminated. While your Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer can appeal to have them reinstated, there’s no guarantee this will happen.
Let Your Charlotte Workers Compensation Attorney Know if You’ve Made Any of These Mistakes
If you’ve recently suffered a workplace accident and aren’t sure what to do next, call our office. You can schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our skilled Charlotte workers compensation attorneys. Your attorney can guide you through the workers comp process. They can also make sure you don’t make any of the costly mistakes described here.
However, if you have made any of these mistakes, there’s a chance your Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyer can still help.
Since your initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. Once your workers comp claim is in jeopardy, it can be hard to convince the insurance company to approve your benefits.