Workers’ compensation is a system of insurance meant to protect employees injured on the job. The idea behind it is that workers are entitled to financial protection if injured while working without having to prove negligence. It’s an important law, but many times people do not receive all they’re legally entitled to because they don’t have guidance navigating the complex process. Here are some expert tips on how to win your workers’ compensation claim.
Hire An Experienced Lawyer Early On In The Process
Some people see hiring a lawyer as a means to avoid paying their fair share of medical bills, but workers’ compensation is really about getting your medical care covered. This is where lawyers come in; Workers Compensation Lawyers have the expertise to help you get the right treatment and push for compensation so that you can recover on time. Don’t shy away from using a lawyer’s services because this could cost you in the end. Make sure that if you do need legal representation, hire one at an early stage of the process; don’t wait until it’s too late.
Seek Treatment Immediately After An Injury And Keep A Record Of All Visits And Tests Performed
You may have heard horror stories where employees received much less money than they deserved because they didn’t seek adequate care for their injuries. Some people try to save money by getting second opinions from a doctor that is in their network, while others try to ignore the pain and wait it out until they feel better on their own. If you aren’t able to include every healthcare visit on your claim, it could end up hurting you financially. Make sure you go through all of the necessary steps so that employers can’t deny payment for any needed medical services in the future.
The more documentation you have, the stronger your case will be against an employer who isn’t fulfilling their obligations under workers’ comp law. Having good evidence of expenses paid for medical bills makes it easier to demonstrate your total costs of care.
Collect Wage Loss Data From Your Employer As Soon As Possible
Sometimes employers can be tight-lipped about wages when an employee gets hurt. They may not want to release pay records without a subpoena or fight you over the issue in court. If you don’t have this data, it could make it difficult for you to prove your wage loss claim and win significant compensation for your injuries. Try to get a copy of the last few weeks’ worth of pay stubs before reporting the injury at your worksite so that you can better project what your earnings would have been if not injured.
Also, learn more about how some people are hurting their chances at winning a workers’ comp claim by illegally using marijuana before or during their work time and potentially avoiding detection because drug testing is still rare in the medical field.
Gather Witnesses Who Saw What Happened
If you can’t prove that an accident was your employer’s fault, then it is unlikely that you will win a workers’ comp case. This is why witnesses are so important; they can testify on your behalf about what happened at your workplace and ensure that you get the care and benefits to which you are entitled under the law. If you don’t have witnesses or evidence of wrongdoing, then try to find a way to set up proof in advance and report the injury before anyone has time to cover their tracks or hide any incriminating evidence. The more proof there is against employers, the higher chance there is for justice in favor of injured employees.
Seek Therapy If You Need It And Maintain A Journal
Some workers need therapy to help cope with the stress of an on-the-job injury. Not everyone needs it, but if the process of getting better is causing you additional pain or stress, then you should consider seeking professional help. Additionally, mental health issues can be caused or worsened by a workplace injury too. Without proper coping mechanisms, these problems can snowball and leave you feeling hopeless and unmotivated to do anything positive for yourself. In this case, therapy could get you back on track to a healthy mind and body so that you can focus on recovering rather than remaining mired in negativity.
Make sure to maintain a journal of your treatment experience as well so that it can be included in your claim. Both documents will help you get the compensation you deserve and improve the chances of winning your workers’ comp case.
Talk To Other Injured Employees Within Your Company And Find Out What They Did To Win Their Cases
If you aren’t immediately satisfied with the support or answers provided by your employer, try contacting other injured employees within your company to see what they did to win their compensation cases. Talking to co-workers is a good way to find out what types of treatment were considered valid for claims purposes and who may have had success in getting money back through litigation. People who have been down this road before are often helpful resources as they know how best to navigate through confusing legal waters when looking for coverage for medical services in need. In contrast, some workers’ comp fraudsters may be getting away with hurting co-workers and costing them thousands of dollars due to companies not doing enough to verify the claims that they pay out.
Try asking questions such as:
- What types of doctors did you find most helpful?
- Did you go outside your network?
- Did you face any difficulties in obtaining reimbursement or back pay?
- What types of treatments did your employer consider valid when processing your claim?
- Who should I talk to if my employer denies my claim and I have to pursue a lawsuit?
Remember, the better prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will be paid for medical treatment needed as a result of getting hurt at work.
At the end of the day, winning a workers’ compensation claim can often hinge on having enough evidence to prove damages from an injury sustained at work. While different states may require different types of documentation depending on what kind of injury occurred (i.e., broken bone vs. cumulative trauma disorder), there are some primary documents that tend to get brought up in a lot of cases. Hiring the right lawyer and keeping track of all relevant documentation is the key to winning.