When it comes to your workers compensation claim, the things you do in the hours and days afterwards are important. If you make one simple mistake, it can jeopardize your chance of receiving workers compensation benefits. This is why we suggest that anybody who’s hurt on the job meets with an Atlanta workers compensation attorney as soon as possible.
If you have an attorney by your side when you file your initial workers compensation claim, it increases the chances of it being approved. The last thing you want to happen is have your claim denied and then have to go through months or even a year’s worth of appeals before you get your benefits. Rather than have that happen, you should have an Atlanta, Georgia personal injury lawyer handle things for you. They’ll make sure that your workers compensation claim is filed properly and handled properly from the start. They won’t let the insurance company take advantage of you and they’ll do whatever it takes to get you the benefits you deserve.
Here, we’ll talk about some of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to your workers compensation claim. We will also discuss how an attorney can help fix your claim if you make a mess of it. Finally, we will explain how you can get in touch with an Atlanta workers compensation attorney so you can take advantage of your free, initial consultation.
You Don’t Report Your Injury to Your Manager or Human Resources Director
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to your workers compensation claim is not reporting your injury to your employer. Regardless of what your company’s workplace injury policy says, you only have 30 days to report your workplace accident.
In reality, there’s no excuse for not reporting your injuries immediately. If you truly got hurt on the job, then you should have every opportunity to report your accident to somebody. Whether this is a manager, the human resource director, or another employee, you need to put the company on notice that you’ve been hurt.
If you fail to report your injury, you’re not only jeopardizing your workers comp benefits, but you’re also putting your health at risk. When you report your accident to your manager, they’ll make sure that you’re taken for treatment immediately. They’ll also have you fill out an accident form so you can document what took place Your Atlanta, Georgia personal injury lawyer will need this information if they have to pursue the legal action on your behalf. If you wait too long to report your injury, your employer will have ample opportunity to argue that something other than a workplace accident caused your injuries.
You Were Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol at the Time of Your Workplace Accident
It should go without saying, but if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your workplace accident, your claim will not be paid. When we tell clients this, they look at us like we’re crazy. Why would anybody go to work either drunk or high? What they don’t realize, and what most employees don’t realize, is that even if you’re under the influence of prescription medications it can cause a problem.
A lot of prescription medications, especially those for pain and anxiety, can cause a person to be at a much greater risk of injuring themselves. Some of these drugs make you sleepy and incoherent. Others make it very dangerous for you to operate heavy equipment or machinery. The warnings are right on the label of your medication. Things are even worse if you take more than what you’re supposed to.
Immediately after you report your injury, your employee is going to want to send you out to get treatment. However, before they do that, they’re going to ask you to submit to a drug test. If your drug test comes back positive, even for prescription medication, your claim may still be in jeopardy. If the levels for any particular drug are higher than they should be based on your medication instructions, your claim may be denied.
You Refuse Medical Treatment
Another big problem is when our clients refuse medical treatment. It’s no different than being involved in a car accident. Like it or not, you have no choice but to seek medical treatment immediately after your workplace accident. First of all, this is the only way to know if you’re really hurt. Even if you feel fine and don’t see any injuries that doesn’t mean you’re okay. You need to go to the emergency room so they can run the necessary diagnostic tests to determine if you suffered any internal injuries.
Not only do you have to worry about your health, but you also don’t want to handcuff your Atlanta workers compensation attorney. If you don’t receive medical treatment immediately, it will be nearly impossible for your attorney to prove that you were hurt at work. If you wait too long to get treatment, your employer will argue that something other than a workplace accident caused your injuries. Unfortunately, if you do wait too long to get treatment, not only will your claim be denied, but the workers compensation panel will more than likely side with your employer on appeal.
You Refuse to Participate in Your Medical Treatment Plan
It’s really important that you be treated by a state-approved, workers compensation doctor. This doctor will be assigned to you by your employer’s insurance company. You won’t have a say in who administers your treatment. If you refuse to be treated by the approved physician, any medical care you receive elsewhere will not be covered under workers comp. In addition, your workers comp benefits will likely be denied, and your case will be closed. It will be very difficult for your Atlanta, Georgia personal injury lawyer to convince anybody to pay out on your claim at that point.
You Don’t Call an Atlanta Workers Compensation Attorney When Your Claim is Denied
Because there are so many mistakes you can make with your workers compensation claim, we suggest you call our office immediately after your accident. Meet with one of our Atlanta workers compensation attorneys as soon as possible after your workplace accident. Not only is your initial consultation free, but you don’t pay a dime until we settle your case.