Workers’ compensation coverage can be very complicated. If you’ve been injured at work, you might feel as though the process of filing a claim is simply too complex to bother with. These policies and workplace regulations are intended to protect American workers but it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed by the process.
Injured workers are certainly encouraged to meet with a workers’ compensation attorney who may be able to provide more detailed information that pertains directly to their case. In the meantime, it may help to remember that there are small steps you can take to help your claim proceed smoothly.
- Don’t wait to report your injury to your employer.
Even if you’ve sustained a minor injury, don’t hesitate to tell your employer about it. Most companies keep records of this information in the event that an employee’s injury turns into a workers’ compensation claim. If you wait to tell your employer, you could put your claim in jeopardy. Even though workers’ compensation claims are different from other personal injury claims, there is still a statute of limitations that claimants must adhere to.
- Attend all of your doctor appointments and keep records of your medical reports.
Failing to go to your appointments could also jeopardize your claim. In this event, the insurer might try to argue that the claimant isn’t really that injured if he/she doesn’t even go to doctor appointments or listen to your doctor’s advice. Consistent records of your injury or illness, including specific details about your symptoms and treatment plans, may be very valuable in a workers’ comp claim.
- Ask your employer for light duty work.
If your injury prevents you from filling the normal duties of your job, it may be wise to ask your employer for other tasks that are light duty. Alternatively, your employer might be willing to adjust your work performance goals or make temporary accommodations for you. This small initiative can go a long way — it shows that you’re willing to continue working and that you aren’t looking for a handout. Of course, your health is always the most important aspect to consider here. If your doctor advises you not to return to work, or if you are in too much pain at work, it’s okay to focus on other things that may help your claim.
If you have been injured at work, consider contacting a Palm Beach County workers’ compensation attorney with experience in employment law. An attorney can help protect your rights and the financial resources you need to move forward in your life.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Office of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation practice.