When you’ve been injured on the job, you have enough concerns without fretting over if and when you will get workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to them. Period. But that doesn’t mean insurance companies can’t make it difficult for you. Here are a few things you can do to make the processing of your claim easier, and more easily accepted:
- Report the accident sooner rather than later:
Legally, you have a 30-day maximum to report an incident, but why wait?
- Be aware and alert when filling out an Accident Report:
You should not feel sick or unable to concentrate, or be on medication when completing the accident report. Wait until you are totally prepared.
- Get the names of any witnesses, along with their contact information
- Get medical treatment – stat!
A work-related injury is not the time to play hero or tough guy; go to a clinic, doctor’s office or the emergency room as soon as possible! Even if you think you are okay, it’s important to have a record of treatment.
- For the (medical) record, tell it like it is:
Share how the injury occurred with medical personnel, including the fact that it happened at work, covering the basics. Your medical records should contain a short and sweet, — yet thorough – narrative.
- Whatever your story is, stick to it!
Be consistent in the way you share details with doctors and colleagues about your accident.
- Make an appointment, keep an appointment!
Get in the habit of going to all the appointments you’ve made. Feeling better? Good! Now get going; your doctor is waiting to see you!
- Make sure you get a copy of the workers’ compensation report your employer filed with the insurance company.
- Keep a record of all expenses related to your injury:
You can usually be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. The money that you may spend on bandages, over-the-counter medications, and parking lot fees, gas, and mileage incurred while driving to medical appointments could add up pretty quickly!
- When dealing with the insurer, remember:
- A recorded statement is only appropriate if you’ve engaged a lawyer
- Grant access to copies of your medical records and bills that are solely work injury-related.
- It’s perfectly fine to follow-up on a claim after two weeks time.
- If your claim is denied, file an appeal quickly
(You may want to consider enlisting the help of a workers’ compensation attorney.)