Life is all about dealing with uncertainties. All your plans and dreams can go haywire if you suffer a serious injury at work. The situation is tougher for families if the sole bread earner suffers a crippling injury or illness. Meeting ends can become difficult. Thankfully worker’s compensation can help take care of all your basic necessities in the aftermath of an illness or injury. Many workers end up making costly mistakes that can deny them adequate compensation. Here we shall share some tips that will help you avoid those mistakes and get the most out of your workers’ comp claim.
1. Hire Workers Comp Attorney in Oakland, CA
You can file the workers’ comp claim without the help of a lawyer. It may sound great as you won’t need to pay a dime to a lawyer. However, you should avoid making this mistake as injured workers and families that take this route often find themselves entangled in red tape and fail to earn maximum compensation. It is important that you get in touch with an experienced workers comp attorney in Oakland, CA who comes with a proven track record.
2. Never Delay Reporting Injury
One of the major reasons many compensation claims are denied is the delay in reporting injury or illness. You need to formally report your employer in the immediate aftermath of an injury or when advised by a medical practitioner when an illness has been detected. In the state of California, you have to report your injury within 30 days of the incident to file a compensation claim.
3. Seek Immediate Medical Care
Irrespective of the kind of injury you have suffered it is important for you to seek immediate medical treatment. Prompt medical care can help you recover quickly from the injury and also improve the odds of full recovery. Negligence on your part can act against you when the compensation claim is filed as insurers would use this against you either to attribute your condition to negligence or even deny the injury happening at all.
4. Maintain Your Record
You will have to deal with tons of paperwork in the aftermath of your injury. From the medical bills and reports to the forms that you have to fill to claim your compensation. It is important that you keep all your medical records and copies of all the paperwork. These records are very important when it comes to fighting for your compensation. If your case goes to a trial your attorney would need to use all these records to tilt the case in your favor.
5. Change Medical Practitioner in case of Poor Response to Treatment
Workers’ compensation law in California requires you to consult a medical practitioner/institution as advised by your employer. In case your injury is not healing fast enough or the treatment/medication isn’t responding you should consider changing the practitioner in consultation with your workers’ comp attorney in Oakland, CA. There is another good reason for doing so. The treating doctor is being paid by the insurer and in many cases, they have been known to underreport an injury. Going to an independent practitioner helps in the unbiased assessment of your injury and thus lets you file a claim that will help you get adequately compensated for your injuries and restrictions you will have to deal with in the future.
6. Never Sign a Document without Consulting Your Attorney Your employer and their insurers might want you to sign several documents while filing your compensation claim. Not all of these documents are in good faith and there are times when injured employees have been persuaded to sign documents such as the Termination petition. All these can be used against you to deny compensation benefits. Once you have hired an attorney you should seek his or her advice before you sign any document. It is important to remember that your employer has a conflict of interest in the aftermath of your injury and hence you shouldn’t do anything as per their instructions without consulting your attorney.
These tips will help in maximizing the compensation and benefits you receive after being injured at work. There are dozens of examples where workers have been casual in their approach while filing for compensation claims and have been denied what was due to them.
Summary – In this write-up, we look at some tips that will definitely help you get the most out of your workers’ comp claims.