7 common mistakes people make when filing compensation claims
No matter what industry you work in and no matter what job you do, there's always going to be a degree of risk associated with it. Like it or not, every workplace comes with potential hazards, regardless of the employee's efforts to keep everyone on the premises safe. That's why work accidents happen and unfortunately they're quite common in every area of activity.
Maybe we can't avoid them entirely, but what we could do is learn what to do after they happen, in order to minimize damages and ensure a proper recovery. All work related injuries can have short or long term consequences, depending on the seriousness of the accident. If you've been injured at work, and it wasn't your fault, you deserve the maximum amount of compensation for the damages and loss you've suffered.
That means you have to know how to navigate the compensation claim process. A lot of people make basic mistakes when filing a claim because they've never done anything similar before. These errors can get in the way of getting fair compensation for your injuries. So here are the 7 most common mistakes you should be aware of when filing a workers' compensation claim.
Not reporting the injury immediately
When you get injured at work, you should never assume your employer knows about what happened and he'll take care of the necessary procedures, so you can receive workers' compensation. It's your responsibility to inform your employer about the accident and file a claim straight away.
It's normal for you to feel confused or disoriented after you've been involved in a work accident, but it's extremely important to act quickly and report the event as soon as you are out of danger and physically capable of doing so. If you wait too long before reporting the injury, you can forget certain details that might be crucial for the claim process and you might even be denied compensation. So you have to report the accident ASAP, making sure you keep a record of the events and all the symptoms and injuries you've suffered.
Reporting the injury only to your doctor
Seeking immediate medical care is absolutely essential after you've been injured at work. This is the first thing you should do if you're injured on the job. Even if your injuries don't seem life-threatening or you don't have serious symptoms, you should still receive medical attention. Only a health professional can accurately assess your situation and recommend the necessary treatment.
However, just because a doctor has seen you, it doesn't mean you no longer have to report the injury to your employer. Your doctor's only obligation is to treat you. He's not responsible for informing your employer about the accident or getting the claim process started. That's something you have to do on your own if you want to receive the compensation you deserve.
Thinking you are not entitled to workers' compensation
Another common mistake is thinking you don't deserve any compensation because the injuries you've suffered are minor and you didn't take any time off from your job for recovery. Also, some people don't file a claim because their injuries weren't the result of a direct accident, but they happened over time, due to stress or other work-related factors.
This stresses the importance of getting educated on the rights you have as an employee and the situations in which you can claim compensation. If you need someone to guide you and help you understand all the ins and outs of the compensation claim process, you can seek help from professionals in the field such as how-to-sue.co.uk. With the right resources and support, you'll be able to protect your rights and get fair compensation when you're entitled to it.
Not following doctor's orders
If a doctor has attended you after you've been injured at work, and he prescribed a treatment for you to help you recover, it's of the utmost importance to follow his instructions exactly. You must do this to ensure a speedy recovery and also to avoid problems with your compensation claim.
You might start to feel better after a while, but you should not discontinue or end the treatment your doctor recommended just because the symptoms have diminished. Symptoms can come back or even worsen if you do that. Also, the insurance company will assume you don't need compensation since your injuries don't require treatment, and then your claim will be denied.
Lying about your symptoms
In some cases, people will try to exaggerate their symptoms or come up with false evidence in order to receive a higher compensation amount. As you can assume, this is wrong, both ethically and legally. Remember you'll undergo various medical exams, and your doctor will find out if the injuries or symptoms you claim to experience are nonexistent or they're not as serious as you say they are, and that will be written in your medical report. Then the insurance company will decide you deserve a smaller compensation amount or they'll dismiss your case and you'll get nothing.
Leaving out important details
While some people embellish the events and include false information, others forget about important details. That can happen due to the shock or simply because they don't consider it's necessary to mention every single detail when reporting the accident. But that's exactly what one should do in such a situation. You have to report the event in great detail, making sure you leave nothing out, if you want to receive fair treatment and ensure a smoother claim process. The details you might consider unimportant may actually make a huge difference when claiming compensation.
Choosing the wrong personal injury lawyer
Sometimes it's better to leave a professional handle your compensation claim, as this will simplify the whole process and make your life easier, allowing you to focus on recovery rather than chasing evidence, bills and paperwork. But you have to choose your personal injury lawyer carefully, if you want to get the best results. You should work with a lawyer who has the right experience and skills to help you win your case. So before you hire a lawyer, you should do your research and perform a background check to make sure you've made the right choice.