Workers’ Compensation Do’s and Don’ts
Workers’ Compensation DO’s
If you have been injured while on the job, be sure to DO the following:
- Report your injuries to your employer immediately as well as their cause.
- Be sure to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney before filing your own workers’ compensation claim.
- Gather all pertinent information regarding your injury, including:
- medical bills and records
- witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers
- photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, if at all possible
- any other information that might be helpful
- Make sure that your attorney is aware of past injury dates as well as past medical problems that may have an impact upon your workers’ compensation claim.
- Make sure that you immediately GET TO A DOCTOR or HOSPITAL and accurately describe on your intake form as well as tell your nurse and doctor HOW your injury began on the job. The Judges heavily rely on these medical records as to if the injury actually occurred on the job or someplace else.
- Keep accurate records of days you work and days you miss as a result of your injuries.
- Seek prompt medical attention for all your injuries, and keep all of your doctors’ appointments. Unless your workers’ compensation claim has been controverted, make sure all of your medical treatments have been authorized before undergoing treatment.
- If you are unable to work fully or partially, meaning you can not perform the job duties of your regular duty job, get the doctor to state so in writing from the beginning. You will need this to prove your entitlement to benefits while you are unable to work.
Workers’ Compensation Don’ts
If you have been injured while on the job, DO NOT do the following:
- Don’t assume, after reporting your on-the-job accident, that your employer will notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier of your injuries. Often, an employer will try to handle an on-the-job accident in-house in order to avoid an increase in insurance premiums.
- Do not change doctors without first getting prior authorization from the workers’ compensation insurance company. Always consult your attorney before any change of a doctor is attempted.
- With the exception of your spouse and your attorney, do not talk to anyone about your workers’ compensation claim. Injury victims who talk too much often become their own worst enemies.
- Don’t fall prey to amateur legal advice from well-meaning, but ill-informed people or from legal sites where you do not know the validity of the source. Consult an experienced knowledgeable attorney who practices workers’ compensation law in your state and goes to court when necessary.
- Don’t be shy around your treating doctor. Be sure to tell him/her ALL of your symptoms and medical problems at the time of your appointment and all of your pre-existing asymptomatic conditions that became aggravated by your on the job injury, causing new and different symptoms that need to be addressed.
- Other than giving him/her a history of how your on the job injury occurred, as well as your injuries and past medical problems, do not discuss legal issues (such as the value of your claim) with your doctor.