What are the top 10 mistakes an injured worker can make in a workers' compensation claim?
These ten biggest mistakes for injured workers to avoid are listed and discussed below:
#1 - Failing to report the injury to your supervisor immediately after your injury at work.
It is very important that you report your work injury as soon as it happens. If you delay, then the supervisor often can't verify that you were hurt on the job by talking to co-workers who may have seen it or investigating the accident scene. The longer you wait to report your work injury, the higher the risk that your Employer will deny that you were hurt.
#2 - Delaying seeking medical treatment for your work injuries.
If you seek medical treatment immediately after your on-the-job injury, then there is medical evidence of your injury on the date of your accident. Any delay in seeking medical treatment opens the door to your Employer or the insurance company concluding your injuries may have taken place somewhere other than work.
#3 - Missing doctor's appointments with your workers' compensation doctors.
If you do not keep your appointments with your worker's compensation doctors, it will make your doctors mad and conclude that you must not be seriously injured. Shortly after missed appointments, the workers' compensation doctor often returns the injured worker to regular duty and may even conclude that the injured worker is at Maximum Medical Improvement, which ends treatment as well.
#4 - Not telling your workers' compensation attorney about any changes in your work restrictions.
It is very important that you keep your workers' compensation attorney updated with any changes in your work restrictions. When your restrictions increase or decrease, your eligibility for weekly income benefits often changes. Once you have been released to regular duty in Georgia, you only have 120 days to have your Claimant Independent Medical Examination with a doctor of your choice. Keeping your attorney informed helps keep your case on track.
#5 - Not disclosing prior injuries, medical conditions, or claims.
It is important that you tell the truth about your prior injuries or your case. In Georgia, aggravation of pre-existing conditions is covered, so telling your doctor won't hurt you. However, if you don't tell your doctor and the insurance company shows him prior records from a previous injury, the doctors may release you from their treatment. It is also important to be honest in your job applications since lying on your application could be a total defense to your workers' compensation claim under a legal theory called the Rycroft Defense. If you are always honest with your lawyer, then your lawyer can better guide you through the claims process.
#6 - Refusing to try a light-duty job being offered.
If you refuse to try a light-duty job from your Employer, then the insurance company can often stop your weekly income benefits. It is important that you work closely with your attorney in this situation, but it never looks good for an employee not to even try to work if the job appears to be within the work restrictions.
#7 - Refusing to conduct a job search for suitable light-duty work after being fired or resigning from your job where you were hurt.
If you are terminated or resign while on light-duty work restrictions, you will not be eligible for weekly income benefits unless you conduct a daily and thorough job search. You must also tell every potential employer you are on light-duty restrictions, or your job search will be invalid. If you find a light-duty job that pays less, you will usually be entitled to receive Temporary Partial Disability Benefits, paying you two-thirds of the reduction in pay each week.
#8 - Getting angry at your deposition.
It is important to stay cool and pleasant at your deposition. If you get angry or refuse to cooperate, the defense attorney will be much less likely to recommend a settlement. If you are pleasant, reasonable, and honest during your deposition, your case will be worth more and will likely be transferred to the mediation calendar for settlement negotiations.
#9 - Stop going to the workers' compensation doctor for a long time.
If you stop treating, the insurance company will often close your workers' compensation claim. Medical treatment continues to provide documentation that you are injured. Without it, the settlement value of your case will continue to drop.
# 10 - Hiring a workers' compensation attorney who doesn't specialize in workers' compensation.
Who you hire for your workers' compensation claim will greatly affect how much your case settles for. Our workers' compensation attorneys fight for your medical benefits, income benefits, and, eventually, your settlement to make sure you get paid everything you are eligible to receive.
What is your workers' compensation claim worth?
The Griffin Law Firm provides a free workers' compensation calculator to determine what your claim is worth. knowing the value of your workers' compensation claim is invaluable because it gives you a settlement goal. Hiring the Griffin Law Firm is the way you can achieve that goal of a fair settlement.
How do I get more information about Georgia workers' compensation claims?
You can use the below link to read more about Georgia workers' compensation claims:
How do I contact the Griffin Law Firm for a free workers' compensation consultation?
You can call our experienced workers' compensation lawyers at 877-724-6529 or use our Contact us link below: