After a workplace injury, it can be challenging to stay on top of the sometimes-complicated claims process. Injured workers often make choices early on that damage their cases down the road, making it harder to eventually receive the benefits they need.
Fortunately, if you prioritize your health and recovery, you also help support your workers’ comp claim. By making choices that acknowledge and document your injury and treatment, you’ll have better chances of avoiding a disappointing or drawn-out claim.
Remember, too, that workers’ comp is a no-fault system. This means that you don’t need evidence that your employer caused your accident. You simply need to show that you were hurt and you were hurt at work. As you start your process, work toward supporting those two points and avoid these mistakes:
Not telling your supervisor or manager about your accident
Quite simply, if you don’t report your accident, you won’t have a workers’ comp claim. As soon as you’re able, report your injury or your diagnosis to your manager—in writing—and be sure you receive confirmation. While you have 30 days to do so, the sooner you act the better. It’s harder to connect your injury to work if you delay reporting. Also take time to record all the details while they are fresh in your mind, noting where the accident took place, how it happened, who may have witnessed it and any other important details.
Not receiving medical attention
Again, proving that you were hurt and you were hurt at work are the most important components of your workers’ comp case. That’s why it’s critical to see a doctor after a workplace injury, even if you don’t think you were badly hurt. If you need emergency care, go to the emergency room. Otherwise, you’ll need to see a provider from your workplace’s posted panel of physicians. These are approved doctors or medical clinics that can diagnose and treat your injury. If you’re unhappy with your care, you can request a change.
Going back to work too soon
If your employer offers you light duty work and your doctor OKs it, you do have a responsibility to return to work. But if it doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion. Never work through pain or ignore the doctor’s recommendation. You could end up with worsened health or a condition that never entirely resolves.
Agreeing to a settlement without legal help
While the workers’ comp system is meant to move quickly, sometimes workers are left without approval for their medical care or wage benefits. When they’re worn down by delays, injured workers may be more likely to accept low-ball settlements. Before accepting a settlement, speak to an attorney who specializes in workers’ comp cases. An Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer will work to help you achieve the maximum benefit possible.
Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you’ve been injured at work and need help receiving the care you deserve, we’re here for you. Contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera today for a free consultation, or give us a call at 404-991-5097.