Two of the most common reasons why worker’s compensation claims are denied involve when and how the injury was reported. Often, the insurance company will seek to avoid paying for worker’s compensation benefits if the injury was not reported within a reasonable amount of time after it occurred. Additionally, claims regularly are denied when the injury reports contain factual inconsistencies. To best preserve your right to worker’s compensation benefits, I recommend reporting all injuries (no matter how large or small) and to make sure that the facts contained in the injury reports are consistent.
1. Report All Injuries
If you suffer an injury at work, report that injury to your supervisor and to the person or department that your employer has designated to receive injury reports. While some injuries may appear minor at first, it is wise to report the injury in case the injury becomes more significant. Many of my clients have told me that they “didn’t think the injury was that serious” or they wanted to “rest it and see if it got better.” When their injuries did not improve, they then reported the injury to their employer. Many times, the insurance company will deny claims like these because they feel that the injured worker would have reported the injury if it was serious or that the injury did not really occur at work.
2. Report Injuries Consistently
Reporting an injury is important. Equally important is to consistently report the injury. When filling out an accident report or speaking with your doctor, make sure that you accurately describe how the injury occurred. While you cannot control what your doctor actually writes in the medical record, if you believe the doctor is confused, make sure to clarify how the injury actually happened. If you are asked to sign any paperwork describing how the injury took place, take the time to read it and correct any errors before signing.
By doing these two things – reporting all injuries and reporting them accurately – you will greatly improve your chances of receiving worker’s compensation benefits. If your claim has been denied, please contact Hawks Quindel to speak with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney.
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