If you are injured at work, you likely want to file a claim through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. While designed to help workers avoid personal financial consequences for workplace injuries, it is not as guaranteed as you might think.
Each year thousands of people see their claims delayed, minimized or outright denied. In some cases, it is because they did not have valid grounds to claim. Yet often, a denial comes down to simple mistakes. Here are some of the most common:
Mistakes before you file your claim
You cannot claim for an accident that did not happen. In the eyes of an insurer, if you did not report the accident at the time it happened or shortly after, it might not have happened at all.
You also cannot claim for a work injury that you are not aware you have. Employees often make the mistake of not seeing a doctor because they feel fine or think they know the extent of their injuries. Yet there are many injuries that take time to present. Seeing a medical professional immediately after an incident is the surest way to ensure all damage is accounted for and documented.
Mistakes after you file your claim
The insurer will base their settlement on the doctor’s assessment of your injury and its effect on your ability to do your job. If the doctor says you cannot work for 20 weeks, then don’t. However great you feel, however much you think you have recovered, if they tell you to take 20 weeks’ rest, then do just that.
Insurers often send out private investigators when they disagree with a doctor’s assessment. If they see you out in your garden on week 13 or laying a new patio, they could use it to deny your claim or contest its value.
Claiming and maintaining workers’ compensation can be tricky. Strongly consider legal help to help you avoid common pitfalls.