If you’ve suffered an injury at work, your life might have instantly become more complicated. Apart from the physical and emotional pain, you may be feeling, you could also be facing financial difficulties during this unprecedented time. That is why knowing your rights is vital. Workers’ comp benefits are specifically designed to help injured employees make ends meet as they recover, and here are some important tips that will allow you to get the most out of this system:
Report your injury
When you sustain a workplace injury, the first thing you should do is report it to your superiors and any relevant organizations as soon as possible. While this process might depend on your location, nearly every country and state around the world will require employees to give notice of sustained injuries by a specific deadline. They might also demand certain procedures to be followed after a workplace injury, such as making a claim or completing claim forms. You can check this on your local government’s website. Keep in mind that failing to follow the necessary processes might result in you losing your workers’ comp benefits.
After reporting your injury, the next step is to seek medical treatment immediately. Proper care will help to ensure a fuller and quicker recovery. However, it will also serve as vital evidence in your claim, as it clearly documents the incident and describes your injuries and any physical restrictions in greater detail. And if you delay going to the doctor, it might harm your case later on. So, make sure to get treated by the doctor selected by the insurance company, and always get a second impartial opinion to support your workers’ comp claim.
Hire an attorney
Individuals often feel like they don’t need legal representation if claims are particularly simple or when insurance companies voluntarily pay the claims. However, hiring a skilled workman’s comp attorney is the best course of action in all cases. When you find the right lawyer for your needs, such an experienced professional will help you get the most out of your workers’ comp settlement and increase your satisfaction levels, all while informing and educating you on crucial processes. This becomes especially important when you encounter denials or unreasonable offers from the insurance company. An attorney will be able to mitigate these situations.
Know the benefits
While a good attorney will likely explain your rights in greater detail, it’s still worth knowing which benefits you are entitled to with the workers’ comp system. This will likely depend on your location as well, but the most common benefits often include medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, compensation for travel costs, as well as temporary or permanent disability benefits. Due to their for-profit nature, insurance companies typically won’t mention all possible benefits to you or explain your local government’s comp system. Discuss these aspects further with your lawyer to determine the best course of action.
The process of making a workers’ comp claim often involves a number of processes you should be aware of as well. Apart from your regular doctor’s appointments, you will also be examined by an independent medical professional in many cases, to confirm your injuries. All of these factors are important for your case, which is why it’s advised to keep a detailed record of all paperwork you receive to be used as evidence. This includes your medical records and treatment, as well as your workers’ comp claim, work restrictions, letters from the insurance company or your employer, completed forms, etc.
Attend all proceedings
Although this often isn’t necessary when you have an attorney, it’s still recommended to attend each court date and legal meeting during your appeal, if at all possible. Missing any scheduled legal appointment could potentially result in the loss of certain benefits. Even with a lawyer, there are some important events you will simply have to be present for, such as independent medical examinations and your deposition. If you need to miss a key appointment, it has to be for a justifiable reason, and you have to inform all involved parties in advance.
Navigating the workers’ comp system can be a particularly challenging task. Hire a good attorney and leverage the advice mentioned above in order to streamline this process and get the most out of your settlement.