Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. While workers' compensation is a beneficial system, many injured workers are unaware that they may be eligible for more compensation than the insurance company is offering. This blog will discuss the various steps injured workers can take to ensure they are receiving the most out of their workers' compensation benefits.
Maximizing Your Workers' Compensation Benefits
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help you cover medical expenses and lost wages while you recover from your injuries. However, many employees do not realize that they may be entitled to more than they are initially offered. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your workers' compensation claim! The first step you should take after sustaining a work-related injury is to report the incident to your employer.
Report Your Injury Immediately
While most accidents result in immediate injury or illness, some injury symptoms take longer to develop (i.e., concussions). If you suffered a work-related injury, you have 30 days from the date of the accident to inform your employer.
Note: Failure to inform your employer within 30 days may result in your claim being denied.
Keep Documentation of Everything
As you go through the workers' compensation process, it is essential that you keep track of all documentation related to your case. This includes:
- Hospital or medical records
- Photographs of your injury and the site of the accident
- Bills, receipts, or expenses related to your injury or illness
- Correspondence with your employer
- Communication with the insurance company
- Anything else that may be relevant.
Having a plethora of documentation will help you build a strong claim and ensure that you are getting the benefits you deserve.
Be Honest With Your Doctor
When you see your doctor for treatment, remain honest and explain your accident and injury thoroughly. Insurance companies will look to your medical records for any reason to limit or deny your claim, so it is crucial that they are accurate.
In addition, it is equally important to discuss any other adverse conditions that you may encounter on your road to recovery. Even if you think they are insignificant or irrelevant to your injury, discussing and documenting all known health effects since the date of your accident can greatly support your claim.
Independent Medical Examination (IME)
At any point during your case, your employer and their insurance carrier may request an independent medical examination (IME). This is performed by a physician who is not your doctor and is chosen by the insurance company. If you refuse to attend an IME, the insurance carrier can, in turn, refuse to continue paying out benefits.
Before attending an IME, it is always best to speak with your workers' compensation attorney, who can help prepare you and review any relevant documentation.
Be Careful Talking to Insurance Companies
When you are filing a workers' compensation claim, you will likely have to deal with representatives from the insurance company. It is important that you be careful when talking to these representatives, as anything you say can be used against you. At the end of the day, insurance companies are profit-seeking businesses that make money by paying out as little as possible. In many cases, the more significant the injury, the more the insurance company will try to fight and cut costs.
Having your attorney present when speaking to insurance company representatives is highly recommended.
Reinhardt | Harper | Davis Will Guide You Through the Workers' Compensation Process
At , our experienced Virginia workers' compensation attorneys understand how confusing and frustrating the workers' compensation process can be. Our job is to make sure that you are getting the benefits you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery.
If you have experienced a workplace accident resulting in injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Call us today at (804) 294-2966 or fill out our form online for a free consultation.