Employees who are injured on the job can seek benefits like compensation for their medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages through Workers’ Compensation claims. In order to receive these benefits, though, workers must follow the correct protocol for filing and pursing Workers’ Compensation claims. There are many steps in the Workers’ Compensation process where a worker can inadvertently invalidate their claim, making them ineligible for benefits. Below are a few common mistakes workers make.
Not Seeking Medical Attention Right Away
As soon as possible after an accident, the worker should seek medical attention. There are a few reasons for this:
If the worker does not show that they sought medical care soon after being injured, the Workers’ Compensation provider can claim that the injury was not serious
Going without treatment can cause the injury to become worse, requiring more extensive treatment and potentially causing permanent damage to the injured body part
Not Reporting the Injury in a Timely Manner
In Pennsylvania, injured workers must report their injuries to their supervisors within 21 days of their accidents. In order to receive Workers’ Compensation, the worker may not wait longer than 120 days to notify their supervisor of the injury.
Reporting the Injury Incorrectly
Injured workers should provide their supervisors with written notice of their injuries, not verbal notice. This way, there is clear documentation of the accident and injury that includes details like the date and time the accident occurred and relevant environmental factors. When accidents are not reported correctly, details can be misconstrued and workers can have their injuries downplayed or denied.
Being Dishonest About the Injury in Any Way
Workers should be honest about their accidents and injuries with all parties, including their supervisors, their doctors, their lawyers, and their insurance providers. Exaggerating an injury in an effort to receive higher benefits often backfires and results in a denied claim. Similarly, downplaying an injury can result in an insufficient amount of compensation, which can put the worker at risk of becoming injured again.
Often, doctors associated with Workers’ Compensation providers attempt to downplay worker injuries to reduce the amount of compensation they receive. When this happens, workers should advocate for themselves and reiterate their symptoms and experiences to their doctors. Often, individuals feel they must always trust their doctors and accept their diagnoses, which can create situations where injured workers allow doctors to state that their injuries are less serious than they actually are.
Not Working With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When a doctor tries to downplay a worker’s injury, a lawyer can be the worker’s advocate and work with the doctor to reach a fair diagnosis. Lawyers can also advocate for injured workers during interactions with employers and Workers’ Compensation providers, securing appropriate compensation for them while the workers focus on their physical recovery.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross Represent Injured Workers Seeking BenefitsWorking with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer is important to your claim’s success. To schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross, fill out our online form or call our office at 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we work with clients from the Greater Philadelphia area, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.