Regular workman's compensation payments can keep you financially afloat in the aftermath of job-related injury or illness. However, workers comp payments aren't automatic, and you'll have to go through a legal process before you'll be approved. Following are five mistakes than many people make that cause them to lose their workers comp cases.
Tell Inconsistent Versions of the Situation
Providing consistent versions of your accident to your employer, your doctor, and the court will increase your credibility in the eyes of the judge who hears your case. Always stick with the facts, and don't allow your story to straw. Keep in mind that claims adjusters may ask questions designed to elicit conflicting answers, so keep your responses short, truthful, and to the point.
Give Up Too Soon
In most states, workers comp claims examiners must make a decision within 14 days of the original filing. Many claimants simply accept this decision if it's negative, therefore giving up on their claims. However, you have a right to appeal the claim adjuster's decision if you feel that it was made in error. Keep in mind that because the claim adjusters are working for the insurance company rather than on your behalf, so don't be afraid to question their findings and to be persistent.
Fail to Show Up for Medical Appointments
Not showing up for scheduled medical appointment sends a big red flag to the court that says you may not have a serious claim. Many of those who apply for workers comp aren't aware that the courts can and will requisition their medical records, and if your shows a pattern of neglecting to show up for appointments, the courts may decide that you don't have a case after all. To keep your credibility high, never miss an appointment unless it cannot possibly be helped, and in that case, reschedule immediately.
Keep Sloppy or Nonexistent Records
Failure to document everything that's pertinent to your case may result in valuable information being overlooked. Keeping clear records ensures that nothing important gets lost in the paperwork shuffle. Workers comp claimants sometimes discover than what they thought were insignificant details were actually pivotal to the final outcome of their cases.
Fail to Communicate With Your Attorney
Your workers comp attorney is your biggest advocate as you navigate through your case, and failure to properly communicate with that person may have unintended consequences. Always keep an open line of honest communication between yourself and your workers comp lawyer.