Each year, thousands of Americans are injured at work, resulting in millions of dollars in medical costs. Many injured employees naively assume workers’ compensation will take care of their costs, but many fail to realize that filing a claim is an adversarial process. The smallest mistake or oversight can be used to deny a claim, leaving employees to fend for themselves. Here are five common mistakes to avoid after sustaining a work related injury:
Leaving paperwork incomplete – If you do not fill out all of the paperwork related to your injury claim, you are setting yourself up to be denied work injury compensation. Fill out every applicable form and ensure you have the necessary documentation to back up your claim. Your attorney can help you with this step to double check the paperwork is complete.
Failing to report the incident to your employer – Many people avoid reporting an injury to an employer out of fear of retribution. However, such employer retribution is illegal. Furthermore, this lack of action could destroy your opportunity to receive compensation for your injury. Within 30 days after your accident, report your injury. Make sure the report is in writing and you include a description of your injury, the place your injury occurred, the time it happened and the date.
Using your health insurance instead of workers’ compensation benefits – By using your private health company instead of workers’ compensation, you may be looking at steep medical bills in the form of copays, high deductibles and uncovered medical expenses. Workers’ compensation exists for a reason. Use it if you are injured on the job.
Denying yourself benefits – In addition to medical benefits, you may also receive disability or even lost wage benefits. Insurance may pay your medical expenses, but if your injury prevents you from returning to work, you will still have monthly household expenses to consider. However, these benefits are not automatic and must be pursued. An attorney will be able to help get disability benefits.
Thinking you cannot appeal a denied decision – If you have a claim that was denied or you think your award amount is not what you should be getting, have your attorney file an appeal. Time is of the essence. Do not delay. There is a certain time period in which you can file an appeal – typically a matter of days. Your lawyer can assist you with this process.
If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim right away or want to file an appeal, you may like to consider contacting a top personal injury lawyer Chicago.
The law offices of GWC Injury Lawyers have decades of experience and are ready to help you schedule a free consultation today at 1-312-464-1234.