Do you know the common mistakes that can jeopardize workers’ compensation claims? Many assume that the workers’ compensation claim process is simple and can be handled easily without reaching out for professional help. However, while the claims process can be pretty straightforward, that’s not always the case. Complexities often arise that leave what was once simple – very confusing. Insurance companies are there to cover your injury, but they’re also there to make a profit, so they may jump on any chance to stop covering treatment or any reason to deny a claim. When you are injured on the job and need to file a work-related injury claim, don’t give the insurance company any excuses – avoid common mistakes that can jeopardize your workers’ comp claim.
Common Mistakes that Jeopardize Workers’ Compensation Claims:
- No Witnesses
- Lack of Documentation
- Failing to Go to an IME (Independent Medical Examination)
- Refusing to Take a Drug Test
- Forgetting to Notify Your Employer (within 30 days)
- Missing the Deadline to File Your Claim (within one year of incident or six months of final treatment)
Are Witnesses Important for Your Workers’ Compensation Claims?
One of the first details you should document is who was involved, who was present, and who witnessed the injury/incident. Taking note of any witnesses to the incident that caused the injury can be essential to support your workers’ compensation claim. In some cases, if there is no witness to the injury, the workers’ compensation insurance company will attempt to deny the claim.
Documenting Your On-the-Job Injury to Support Your Injury Claim:
When you sustain an injury in an on-the-job accident, it’s a good idea to compile documentation supporting your claim. In addition to documenting who witnessed the accident, keep a record of any treatment you receive (including date and time of appointments), diagnosis and treatment prescribed by providers, etc. It’s also essential to document the effect the injury has on your work and your life, keeping note of any activities or job duties that you cannot complete or complete as efficiently due to the injury.
The Independent Medical Examination Requirement:
Workers’ compensation claims must be supported by an independent medical examination (IME) at which a medical professional verifies the injury. The employer arranges the IME, but the employee may visit the provider of their choice for the IME if they are willing to foot the bill. Failing to complete an IME provides the insurance company with the chance to deny the claim.
Did Your Employer Ask You to Take a Drug Test?
If your employer asks you to take a drug test following a workplace incident and you are filing a workers’ comp claim, you should agree. The insurance company may consider an injured employee’s refusal to take a drug as cause to deny the claim.
Notifying the Employer Within the Time Limit:
When a workplace injury occurs, and the injured employee needs to seek workers’ compensation benefits, there are a couple of deadlines. The first deadline is 30 days after the injury occurs. Employees who sustain an injury and need to file a workers’ compensation claim must notify their employer of the injury within 30 days. Failing to do so may result in a denied claim.
Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim on Time:
The statute of limitations is the second deadline injured employees must keep in mind when seeking workers’ compensation benefits. When an injury occurs in the workplace, the injured employee has one year from the date of the injury (or six months from the date of the last medical treatment for the injury) to file their workers’ comp claim.
If you are injured on the job and need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, get in touch with Armstrong & Vaught, PLC, Premier Workers’ Compensation, Employment, and Social Security Law Firm. We are devoted to providing excellent legal services to clients from all walks of life. Contact us online or call (918) 582-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.