Workers’ compensation benefits can provide financial relief and support to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses in the workplace. However, navigating the claims process can be challenging and mistakes can result in delays and even denials of otherwise legitimate claims.
Understanding the pitfalls to avoid can make a significant difference in the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim. Below are some common yet avoidable mistakes that can come in the way of receiving the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Failing to report the injury promptly
One of the most critical steps in the workers’ compensation claims process is reporting the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Delaying this notification can raise suspicions about the legitimacy of your claim.
In addition, your claim may be legally time-barred if you do not inform your employer within the stipulated timelines. Pennsylvania law requires employees to notify their employer of a workplace accident within 120 days of when you knew or should have known that you had a work injury, with some exceptions.
Not seeking medical treatment
Do not downplay your injuries and fail to seek medical treatment. Even if your injury initially appears minor, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Injuries can worsen over time, and not documenting your condition could weaken your workers’ compensation claim.
It’s equally essential to follow your healthcare provider’s advice and adhere to your treatment plan. Failing to do so can potentially affect the outcome of your claim.
Beyond notifying your employer of your injuries or illness, the workers’ compensation claims process has other strict deadlines, and missing any of them can jeopardize your case. This includes filing a claim if necessary, cooperating with the insurance company’s investigations by submitting the necessary paperwork such as medical releases, and appealing decisions if necessary. Be aware of the timelines associated with your claim and ensure you meet all deadlines.
Disregarding legal assistance
Many workers’ compensation claimants attempt to navigate the process without qualified guidance. However, consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be invaluable. They can help you understand your rights, guide you through the process and represent your interests. Having a certified specialist workers’ compensation attorney on your side will give you the best chance of success, and will give you peace of mind knowing that your case is being handled correctly from start to finish. Contact one of our certified specialists for a free consultation today.