According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millions of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are reported each year. With that many reports, it might seem like everyone knows what to do when they’re injured at work. However, that’s not always the case. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re navigating unfamiliar territory.
However, with workers’ compensation benefits often riding on a clear case of workplace injury, making as few mistakes as possible is crucial. Be aware of the following common errors to potentially reduce the risk of making them yourself.
Not Reporting Your Injury Promptly
A work injury can be challenging to manage, especially if it’s severe and you require extensive medical treatment. However, most injury lawyers in Indianapolis will tell you that you only have 30 days to report an injury under Indianapolis law. After that time, you may not be eligible for benefits.
As soon as you’re in a position to do so, report your injury or accident to your workplace’s management team or your direct boss. Include as much information as possible in an incident report, and keep a copy for yourself.
While writing your report, don’t make assumptions or provide misleading or false information. Include facts like times, dates, locations, injuries, and any medical care provided to avoid potential problems when making a workers’ compensation claim.
Avoiding Visiting a Healthcare Professional
Some injuries don’t always seem that serious at the time they occur. You might not think you need to see a doctor or visit a hospital if you can manage your symptoms at home.
However, workplace injuries can be severe, and internal and brain injuries don’t always present straight away. As soon as the accident happens, visit an emergency room for a checkup. Your medical information may then be used to strengthen your workers’ compensation claim.
Not Following Doctors’ Orders
If your doctor has given you specific instructions to take care of your injuries post-accident, do your best to follow them. These might include specific exercises, dietary changes, and rest requirements. Failure to follow their orders may impact your workers’ compensation benefits.
However, there can be repercussions beyond the possible impact on your case. Some people experience health repercussions associated with not following doctors’ orders.
According to an American College of Preventive Medicine study, nonadherence contributes to approximately 125,000 deaths yearly while resulting in at least 10% of hospitalizations. The cost of the health system is also significant, at around $300 billion each year.
Returning to Work Too Soon
Staying at home resting is very few people’s idea of fun when they want to be back at work earning money. As a result, you may make the common mistake of returning to work before you’ve fully recovered and impacting the healing process.
Only return to work when healthcare professionals have permitted you to do so. They may also request that you only perform light duties or work limited hours.
Talking About Your Case Publicly
You deserve to have wrap-around support during this challenging time, more so when your workplace injury has affected your entire life. However, it’s important to be careful about what you say and where you say it. Avoid talking about your case with coworkers or discussing it on social media. Your chosen lawyers might even recommend not discussing it with friends and family, especially when anything you say can be misinterpreted and used against you.
Not Keeping Records
Your lawyer is likely going to work hard to ensure you’re adequately compensated for all your injuries and associated costs. However, this can sometimes be challenging if there is no paper trail of those costs.
Keep a file of all correspondence, documents, and costs relating to your care post-injury. Even something as simple as a fuel docket from your local gas station for getting you to a medical appointment can be helpful for a lawyer to calculate a suitable compensation figure.
Trying to Handle Your Case by Yourself
When your workplace has procedures in place to manage injuries and illnesses, you may not think you need to hire workplace injury lawyers. However, filing workers’ compensation claims can be daunting.
It’s easy to be pushed over by insurance companies and short-changed when it comes to compensation for your injuries. Sometimes, finding an expert legal team can be important for reducing your stress levels and getting the outcome you desire.
No one ever wants to be injured at work, but it happens. By avoiding making these mistakes above, you may be in the best possible position to enjoy a straightforward and stress-free workers’ compensation claim process.