When you’re going after a workers’ comp settlement, it’s easy to feel alone. Your employer was supposed to have your back and now you’re dealing with this? No good.
We understand you might not be well-versed in workers’ compensation law and it’s difficult to navigate. You’re not out there on your own. Continue reading this article and we will help you with some of the best practices of how to get the best settlement possible.
Don’t Wait to Report Your Injury
As you read more here and on other sites, you’ll see one of the most important things you’ll learn is that you should not wait to report your injury. Even if you’re scared that you will get in trouble, you need to report your injury to your supervisor or the person right away.
Depending on the state that you live in, there are different deadlines you have to adhere to if you want to file for compensation. If you go past that deadline, you will not get the compensation you deserve.
Get Medical Treatment Right Away
When you’re hurt, go to your doctor immediately. If you don’t get medical treatment right away, it will look like there isn’t a problem. If there isn’t a problem, then that means there isn’t any need for compensation.
Beyond being proof that there is a problem, the quicker you get medical treatment, the better you will recover from your injury. Whatever course of action your doctor recommends, listen to their advice and take care of yourself so the situation doesn’t get worse.
See an Independent Doctor
In many states, see the doctor that the insurance company is working with. While they might be a good doctor, there is a potential conflict of interest. If you don’t think you’re getting the care you need to get, then you might want to change your doctor and work with someone that isn’t getting paid by your employers’ insurance.
Before you try to change doctors, check the state law to see what it says about the number of times you’re able to change, the time limitations on changes and any other laws.
Know What Benefits Are Available
If you don’t know what workers’ comp benefits are available, it will be difficult for you to ask for them. While each state has its own rules, there are some typical things available in every state.
Most workmans’ comp benefits include a temporary disability benefit, permanent disability benefit, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and mileage.
You shouldn’t depend on the insurance company to explain your benefits to you in full. Many times, the insurance companies make the benefits sound much more complicated than they really are because they are a for-profit organization and don’t want to decrease their profits by paying out if they don’t have to.
Prepare Yourself for Your Independent Medical Exam (IME)
An IME is different from a doctor’s visit. At a doctor’s visit, they are trying to treat your injury. At an IME, they are trying to see the severity of your injury so they can issue a report.
When you go through an IME, it is usually when the insurance company wants to reduce the amount of benefit they are paying or even terminate your benefits.
Review your own medical records before you go to the appointment and don’t say anything you aren’t required to say. Keep quiet as much as you can since the doctor might ask tricky and confusing questions that could hurt your case.
Don’t Do Anything Outside of Your Described Abilities
If you say that you aren’t able to bend and stoop — do not bend and stoop. Even if you are just doing it for a few minutes and you think it will not hurt anything, someone could be watching you.
Insurance companies sometimes hire private investigators to see if you are lying about how bad your condition is. If someone gets footage of you doing something that is even remotely close to what you say you cannot do, it can cause serious problems and may be misconstrued by the insurance company.
Keep All of Your Records
Keep every record that you get from a doctor or other professional about your medical condition or anything related to your case. It is better to have documents you don’t need than to need a document and not have it.
You should keep letters from the insurance company as well as any communication from your employer. It doesn’t matter how small you might think the issue is, it could be important at a later date.
If you’re worried that you’re going to lose important documents, take a photo or scan them into your computer for safekeeping.
Even if you’ve been denied your claim, you may appeal it and get a more favorable decision. Don’t be afraid to go after the money that you deserve when you’ve been hurt on the job.
Your Workers’ Comp Settlement Explained
Now that you know more about your workers’ comp settlement, we hope you feel more confident in. If you’re still interested in learning more legal information or finding another helpful article, we have plenty.
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