Three Crucial Things You Need To Know When Filing A Workers' Compensation Claim
Workplace accidents can leave one with lifelong injuries and mental trauma. Furthermore, the ripple effect created by a workplace injury extends beyond the injured party. It can affect your family both financially and emotionally. Therefore, you need to file a claim immediately and pursue compensation after getting injured at work. As you begin the claims process, take note of these tips to help you receive adequate compensation for your injuries.
Use Your Doctor Where Possible
Some states allow the injured parties to choose their doctor, while others require the employer to pick a doctor for the employee. If your state permits you to seek treatment from your preferred physician, do so. An employer-recommended doctor may be biased towards your employer. They can downplay your injuries or use your medical history to dig for pre-existing conditions.
Your doctor will provide short-term treatment and long-term care for your injuries. Since the doctor already has your medical history, you don't have to worry about disclosing your lifelong medical history to a new practitioner. The established relationship between you and your doctor will promote comfort throughout treatment. If you aren't allowed to use your own doctor, do not permit your employer to access your medical records without your consent.
Pursue All Legally Entitled Benefits
Once your workers' compensation claim has been approved, your employer's insurance will use the independent medical examiner's estimates to offer a settlement. Most of the time, the initial check only covers permanent partial disability. A permanent partial disability implies that you will still be able to work as efficiently as you did before the injury.
If you accept the check and close the case, you may miss out on more compensation. For example, if you suffer whole-body injuries and are unable to return to work or to work as efficiently as you did before, you should receive more compensation. Therefore, pursue all the entitled benefits after assessing the severity of your injuries.
Ask for the Statement of Wages
A statement of wages is a document that calculates wages based on past earnings, type of employment, and length of employment. The document is prepared by the insurance carrier, and it specifies the amount you will be paid as you recover. The insurance carrier may use incorrect calculations, denying you adequate compensation.
For example, if you used to work 30 hours per week for some time but currently work 40 hours per week, the carrier may calculate all your past earnings based on 30 hours per week. To ensure you receive adequate compensation, ask for the statement of wages to verify its accuracy.
Handling all the above issues when dealing with a workplace injury may be overwhelming. Contact a workers' compensation lawyer for legal assistance.