A workplace injury can turn your life upside down, end your career or even result in death. If you or someone you love has been hurt at work, you may be entitled to benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation program.
However, workers’ compensation benefits are never a given. Failure to comply with the workers’ compensation terms and requirements can result in the dismissal of your claim. Here are three common mistakes that can hurt your workers’ compensation claim.
Failing to report your injury and file your claim in time
According to California statute, a worker has 30 days effective from the date of the injury to notify the worker of the incident. Typically, the employer will advise you to file an incident report detailing the nature and extent of your injury. It is important that you keep a copy of this report. Additionally, the state’s statute of limitations requires an injured employee to file a workers’ comp claim within one year from the date of the injury. You risk losing your right to compensation if you miss these important timelines.
Signing documents you do not understand
It is not uncommon for the employer or their workers’ comp insurance holder to approach you with an offer or a request to sign documentation relating to your injury and claim. This can be a very costly mistake. Once you put your signature on anything, the agreement becomes binding. Sometimes, the employer or their insurer may offer an extremely low settlement amount that may not be sufficient to cover all the damages resulting from your injury. It is critical that you understand the implications of what you are signing.
Failing to follow through with the treatment plan
Of course, going to the doctor is never everyone’s cup of tea. However, it is extremely important that you attend every treatment appointment as recommended by your doctor. Besides ensuring complete recovery from your injury, this will also ensure that the insurance company keeps up with your benefits payment.
A workplace injury can be devastating. Find out how you can pursue the benefits you deserve if you are hurt at work.