Workers' Compensation "Do's and Don'ts"
New York Workers' Compensation Attorney
Have you been injured in a workplace accident? If you or someone you love
has been injured on the job, then it is vital that you act fast so that
you may collect the
compensation you are legally entitled to. Filing for
workers' compensation is not something that you should do on your own. It is not uncommon for
employers and insurance companies to try and
deny workers' comp benefits, or sometimes employers do not carry all of the proper insurance to cover
employee injuries. It is definitely in your best interest to hire an experienced
workers' compensation lawyer to assist with your claim. In order to better
ensure that you obtain full compensation, here is a list of "Do's
and Don'ts" from your Capital District workers' compensation attorneys.
- If you are hurt badly, try not to move, but allow the emergency responders
to transport you. Be sure that the accident and any injuries that you
have sustained are immediately reported to your employer. Give your employer
an in-depth description of how the accident occurred and list all who
were involved and/or injured.
Get written or verbal testimony from any eyewitnesses who may have seen
the accident occur. This can act as plain evidence in case the insurance
companies try to
deny your claim.
- If you have suffered what appears to be a minor injury, report these as
well to your employer/supervisor right away. Many times injured workers
do not report injuries because they think that damage and/or pain will
pass quickly. They go home, take a pain killer and rest, hoping the pain
and damage will diminish. However, they often end up reporting the incident
to their supervisor days later. This is not as effective as immediate
reporting. When you are injured on the job, it is much wiser to inform
your superiors immediately following the incident. In fact, employers
actually prefer to know right away. One major problem with waiting is
that the insurance companies will doubt the credibility of your claim
and become skeptical as a result of the delay in reporting.
- When beginning to document your workers' compensation injury claim, be
very thorough and disclose every part of your body that seems to be aching
or injured as a result of the accident. If you fail to report a minor
injury and only focus on the main injuries, then the claim for compensation
for the minor injury could be denied. So be sure that you report everything
the first time.
- Double check to make sure that someone filled out an accident report for
the incident and that all injuries are listed on there, including all
minor injuries. Then be sure to request a copy of the accident report
to keep for your own records.
- Remember that there is a time limit on how long you have to file your workers'
compensation claim. Typically, you are only given anywhere between 30
and 45 days from the time of the accident to report your injury to your employer.
- If you have persistent pain, be sure to seek medical attention. In order
for the treatment to be covered by your insurer or employer, you must
not cancel any appointments and you must follow the treatment plan that
the doctor gives you.
- Before giving any type of formal recorded statement, be sure to speak with
an experienced workers' compensation lawyer; this way your rights will
be protected and you will not fall victim to any tricks that could hurt
your case later on.
- Try to keep a daily journal that lists all of your symptoms, medical diagnosis,
doctor recommendations and your recovery process. This could be used as
evidence in case your case goes to trial.
- Consult an attorney immediately if the insurance doesn't start paying 2/3
of your gross weekly wage. This means 2/3 of your weekly income before
any deductions are made if you are 100% disabled from performing your
job functions due to a workplace injury.
- Be sure to keep a thorough and organized record of all your medical receipts,
doctor visits, medication expenses, treatment expenses, formal statements,
doctor reports, and any written correspondence between you and the insurance company.
- Don't discuss your case with anyone outside the necessary parties. Typically,
the only people that should be informed of your case are your doctor,
your spouse, and your attorney. You don't need to give the insurance adjusters
any formal statements and you should not discuss your case with extended
family and friends.
- Don't let anyone talk you out of reporting the incident. Your employer
or coworkers may try to persuade you to keep it quiet for the reputation
of the company, but that is not in your best interest. If your employer
offers to pay you under the table for the injury, you must decline and
have them make a formal report.
- Don't be persuaded into signing any type of release form that could release
your employer and the insurance carrier from liability.
- Don't sign any medical releases. This could give the insurance company
access to all of your personal health records which they are otherwise
not entitled to.
- Don't think about settling your case if you are medically unstable. You
want to make sure that your physical and mental state is in good shape
before settling on an amount of compensation. If you settle too early,
you could lose the chance to obtain more money for your injuries at a
- Don't settle your case before talking with your attorney and learning of
your legal rights and options.
Searching for a lawyer for a workers' comp case in Hudson Valley?
Contact Kirk & Teff, LLP today for a free consultation.