Worker’s compensation is a form of insurance. That means it’s supposed to be in place to protect those of us who get injured while working. Unfortunately, it happens all-too-often: a person is seriously hurt in the course of employment and when they put in a claim for the coverage they so badly need — it’s denied.
Of course, when this happens you can appeal the decision, but there are steps you can take right off the bat to help make sure you get the payout you’re entitled to under the law and avoid the fight altogether. Explore everything you have to do in order to make sure you’re paid worker’s compensation and learn where to turn when you need help with your case.
The very first, and most important thing you need to remember when you pursue worker’s compensation is that you should not delay any step in the process. Never mind that you’ve only got a limited window in which to report it under the law; the more you put it off, the more it looks to the insurer like your injury isn’t that serious. When you’re hurt, report the incident to your employer immediately and file a formal incident report with your HR department.
In addition, get seen by a doctor right away. Failing to do so, again, might make the insurer think that if you didn’t need attention, your injury must not be bad enough to prevent you from working. Don’t give them any excuse.
Be Honest and Consistent
When you make your report. you’ll have to describe your accident. Be honest in every detail, but be direct. Don’t try to exaggerate anything, and keep it as simple as possible. Not only do you want to stay honest, you’ll want to be consistent every time you have to talk about the accident, be it to the insurer, to your employer or to an attorney. Never add anything you forgot earlier.
Keep Detailed Records
Make sure that you keep all the records of every medical visit. Keep receipts for all transactions and prescription payments. Get the names and contact information of witnesses. The more you have to back up your story, the better off you’ll be.
Don’t Trust the Insurer
The insurer may want to look at your medical records. Do not give them blanket permission to look at anything in your history. Make sure you only allow them access to specific records that are needed at the time. They’re looking for reasons to doubt your claim.
In addition, never offer or permit them to record you talking unless you’ve got legal counsel in your corner. This can back you into a wall and force you to defend something taken out of context.
Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Finally, make sure you secure the services of a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney will know how to defend your rights, fight back against the insurer and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If you’re in West Virginia and need help with your case, contact the attorneys at Bell Law today.