Injuries at the workplace can happen all too often due to a multitude of hazards. Employees needing to file for workers’ compensation for their injuries include retail workers, construction workers, and others.
At Mehta & McConnell, PLLC, our lawyers recognize how stressful it is for you and your family if you suffer work-related injuries. We are here to guide you in filing your workers’ compensation claim.
You may wonder, what are mistakes that can ruin your workers’ compensation claim? These missteps can cause you to get a denial of your workers’ compensation claim or lower benefits.
Not Documenting What Happened
Being in an accident on the job can be embarrassing and stressful. Nevertheless, it is critical that you document your work-related injury and what happened on the job.
It would be best to write down everything you remember about the accident, including what occurred before and after you experienced an injury.
If you have the names of any witnesses, you should keep records of them.
Not Reporting Your Injury Immediately
Some might think they do not need to report their injury immediately. However, this would be a grave mistake if you hope to recover benefits through your claim. You must notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible.
In North Carolina, you have up to 30 days after the date of your injury to report it to your employer. But don’t wait to notify them that you have gotten hurt. The sooner you report, the better.
If you do not need medical care immediately, report your injuries right after the accident. This will give you the best chance of recovering workers’ compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.
Not Seeking Medical Care Right Away
You should get to a doctor as soon as possible if you are hurt. Once you arrive, inform the doctor that you sustained injuries on the job.
Get copies of any medical reports and treatment plans. These will help you when it comes to filing your claim for benefits.
Not Following Recommendations from Your Doctor
You must adhere to any treatment plan recommended by your doctor. Otherwise, it may be challenging for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
For example, you should ensure that you attend all your appointments. Do not return to work before your physician states it is safe.
Insurance companies could use your early return to try to invalidate your claim. In a nutshell, follow your doctor’s advice to the letter.
Exaggerating or Lying About Your Injuries
Employees might occasionally try to embellish their symptoms or lie about their injuries to boost their claims. This will not help you and is never acceptable.
More seriously, it could be fraud, which could result in serious legal troubles for you.
Understating Your Injuries
You shouldn’t understate the pain you are going through or the extent of your injuries. Let your doctor know all of the symptoms you’ve experienced.
Not being clear about your injuries could lead to not getting the proper work restrictions or treatment plan.
It might be helpful to keep a record of your day-to-day symptoms and bring it with you to the doctor. This is also useful when you file your claim for benefits.
Giving a Recorded Statement to Your Insurance Company
You should be very cautious if the insurance company asks for a recorded statement. The words you say in a recorded statement could be twisted or used against you.
Insurance companies may use your statement as a reason to deny your claim. You should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney when asked for a statement.
Our lawyers at Mehta & McConnell can help ensure you get the benefits you need for your injuries.
Not Meeting the Time Limit to File Your Claim
You must ensure that you meet the deadline for filing for workers’ compensation. These deadlines vary somewhat depending on the type of injury.
In North Carolina, you will have to file your claim within two years of the date of your injury. You should file as soon as possible to receive your benefits earlier.
Examples of injuries on the job that may be eligible for benefits include:
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Repetitive use injuries;
- Strains and sprains;
- Being hit by a falling object;
- Burns, and
- Exposure to toxic chemicals.
If you have experienced one of these injuries or another not listed, consider reaching out to our accomplished attorneys.
We can aid you in recovering the cost of medical expenses, lost income, and more due to your injuries.
Workplace Illnesses or Occupational Diseases
You have a two-year deadline to report an occupational disease. But the time begins to run from when you’ve been advised by a doctor that you have the disease.
There are several exceptions to reporting deadlines that depend on the type of the disorder, so be sure to call a qualified medical professional if you believe you have sustained an occupational disease.
Our lawyers at Mehta & McConnell can then help you to file your claim for benefits.
Not Hiring an Attorney
Insurance companies are not working with your best interests at heart. Therefore, it is vital that you reach out to an employment attorney to avoid making workers’ comp mistakes.
A lawyer can help advocate for you and can assist you in recovering your benefits.
Hiring the Wrong Attorney
Besides hiring a lawyer, you need to make sure that you hire the right attorney for you. Many lawyers offer free consultations.
You may want to use these consultations to determine if the attorney is the right fit for you.
For example, you want to ensure the lawyer you hire has the time and resources to manage your claim correctly. If they are too busy to dedicate themselves to your claim, this can result in a reduction or denial of your benefits.
Additionally, you should ensure that the lawyer you choose has plenty of experience in workers’ compensation and proven results.
At Mehta & McConnell, our lawyers have over 30 years of combined legal experience. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We are here to fight for you and help you recover the benefits you deserve.
Being Dishonest with Your Lawyer
It should go without saying, but you must be honest with your attorney about what happened to you. You should be open and candid about your story and the extent of your injuries.
You don’t need to leave out critical details, but don’t exaggerate.
What Happens When You File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
What’s the process after you file your claim for workers’ compensation? After filing, you will either get approved or receive a notice of a denial and the reasons. If you want to appeal the decision, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
Is Filing Workers’ Comp Bad?
Filing a claim for workers’ comp is perfectly acceptable if you have suffered an injury or illness at work. The reason we have a workers’ comp system in place is to protect you.
You deserve to recover benefits for your injuries so that you can heal. If your employer retaliates against you for filing a claim, you should consider hiring a workers’ comp lawyer.
If you are an employer and want to know how to avoid workers’ comp claims, keep in mind that most claims can be headed off by establishing a safe work culture and holding safety meetings on a regular basis.
What Benefits Am I Eligible for Under Workers’ Comp?
One of the main benefits you might receive when you correctly file your claim is compensation for medical treatment, including treatment for your injuries and medication.
Wage Loss Payments
If you have lost income due to your injury on the job, workers’ compensation may allow you to receive disability payments.
These payments in North Carolina are calculated based on your average weekly wage. Often, your benefits will be approximately 66% of that average weekly wage, but benefits may vary.
What you might receive under workers’ comp depends on your circumstances. For example, there are four different disability categories for purposes of workers’ comp:
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)—this is a period in which a person has improved and can work somewhat;
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD)—this refers to a period in which a person is entirely unable to work while receiving treatment;
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)—this is a permanent injury to a part of a person’s body, but not necessarily such that a person will be unable to work; and
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD)—this refers to permanent damage to the body after a person has reached maximum improvement and results in an inability to ever work in suitable employment.
Thus, it is critical that you call one of our skilled lawyers, who can help you determine your benefits.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
Our areas of expertise include workplace injuries, workers’ compensation for undocumented workers, and lost wages claims.
Consider giving our attorneys a call today at 980-399-5479 for a free consultation.