Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Workplace accidents occur for a variety of reasons, whether it be unsafe working conditions, faulty or poorly maintained equipment, poor training, or poor management. Some workplace accidents could be prevented, or some accidents occur inevitably. Experts recommend being entirely familiar with the project at hand before beginning, to ensure you follow the proper procedure and safety steps. If you are beginning a project you are not familiar with, ask questions, read instructions, and only proceed once you are more affiliated. Although the severity and reasoning for workplace injuries vary, Workers’ Compensation is designed to protect employees who are unable to continue working due to injuries caused in the workplace. In the event that you become injured on the job, the following common mistakes should be avoided when filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. Keep in mind that the following concepts are based on Florida law, and may differ depending on the state your accident occurs in.
Not reporting your injury to your employer
If you become injured or feel ill from your work duties, immediately report these symptoms to your employer. In many cases, an employer will do what they can to protect the reputation of the company, rather than a single employee. After speaking with your employer, their Workers’ Comp insurer should be informed of your workplace injury. Ask for copies of all documentation to keep for your personal records.
Not going to a doctor on your employer’s list
Many companies create a designated list of doctors for their employees to utilize. If your employer informed you of this requirement upon being hired, it is your responsibility to see one of your employer’s recommended doctors. If you decide to switch doctors, due to various reasons, you can switch to your own doctor 90 days after the incident. If you decide to switch doctors, you must inform your employer about the transition.
Delaying getting medical assistance
Immediately after you become injured, seek medical assistance. Although some injuries appear minor at first, injuries may worsen over time. Your injury could be life-threatening, and you may be unaware of this until you visit a medical professional. Additionally, if you fail to visit a medical professional, your employer can minimize your injuries, making it more difficult for you to earn compensation. If you get hurt on the job, call for help.
Not filing a claim because the injury was your fault
In order to be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, whether you are at fault or not holds minimal significance. Workers’ Compensation is a “strict liability” system, which means if you become injured on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This concept holds true regardless of who is at fault. The only modification to this rule is if you were intoxicated or behaving in a manner that blatantly disregards company policy. Aside from this exception, your mistakes will not eliminate your eligibility to earn workers’ comp.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim may be a complex, confusing process. The first steps to take are seeking medical attention, and informing your employer that you have become injured on the job. Regardless of if you believe your behavior was the cause of the accident, you may still be eligible for worker’s compensation. Keep a journal of your injuries including your mood, if your injury is worsening or improving, and your experience with different doctors. Your injury journal will help you define how your life has changed since before the incident. Once you have received adequate medical attention, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an accident, don’t forget to call the Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A. by dialing 1-800-586-5555. If you live in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesville, Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Naples or any other city in Florida, The Law Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A. can help you get your life back on track if you’ve been injured after a car accident. Make sure to follow The Law Offices of Kanner & Pintaluga P.A. on Twitter (@KPAttorney) and Facebook.