When you suffer a serious on-the-job injury, you might wonder how to protect your future. You might worry about your ability to earn an income and support your family. Because your livelihood can depend on what actions you take now, you should avoid these three things while you are filing for workers’ compensation.
Failing to Seek Medical Treatment
Most states require injured workers’ to seek treatment immediately. You may only have 72 to 96 hours to see a doctor who is in network with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You may not be able to seek or accept treatment from your own family physician if you want your medical bills paid for in full.
If you wait longer than the allotted time in your state, you risk having to pay your medical expenses out of your own pocket. You also may not be eligible for additional workers’ comp coverage that can include short term disability and paid prescriptions.
Failing to Pursue Your Legal Rights
The laws in your state may also allow you rights as an injured worker. For instance, many states permit employees who have been hurt on the job to recoup income that they have lost as a result. Your employer may have to pay you while you recuperate from your injuries.
Additionally, if you cannot go back to work in the same capacity as before your accident, you may be entitled to coverage for lessons to retrain you for a new position. Your employer’s insurance policy may have to pay for your tuition and classes to learn a new skill that will help you continue earning an income.
You do not have to pursue these legal rights on your own. You can hire a law firm like Prediletto, Halpin, Sharnikow, and Nelson P.S. to represent you. Experienced workers’ comp lawyers can argue your case in court or negotiate terms of a settlement on your behalf.
Going Back to Work Too Early
You might feel embarrassed or inconvenienced by your injury. However, you should resist going back to work too early before you are fully recovered.
If you return to your job prematurely, your employer could contest your claim and argue that you were not injured as seriously as you claimed. Your medical expenses could be denied by the insurer.
These three mistakes should be avoided when you file for workers’ comp. Your forethought will allow you to take advantage of rights to which you are legally entitled.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.