If you have been injured on the job, you may be confused about the correct steps to take to ensure that you can get the benefits you deserve. The process of filing a claim can also be very stressful, especially when your focus should be on your recovery. These factors could cause you to make a variety of mistakes in the process and possibly hurt your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Learn more about common mistakes people tend to make when filing a claim so you can try to avoid them.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while on the job, it is imperative for you to contact a Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyer to help you with your claim. The attorneys at our firm can explain the many mistakes that can ruin a claim and how to avoid them.
Not Seeking Medical Treatment Immediately
Another big mistake people tend to make is failing to seek medical treatment. They also deviate from the doctor’s instructions, including instructions about work that can be performed and physical activities that must be avoided.
It is crucial to follow all orders, advice and treatment plans that a doctor prescribes. Deviating from these instructions could cause your employer to become suspicious about whether you are really hurt.
Doing things the doctor tells you not to do can also hurt your recovery, pushing back the date when you can return to work. You could also aggravate the existing injury or cause other injuries.
Waiting to Notify Your Employer
A serious mistake with Tennessee workers’ compensation claims is waiting to tell the employer about the injury. You are required by law to report the injury to your supervisor within 15 days of it occurring or 15 days of when a doctor first tells you the injury is related to your job.
However, you should not wait until day 15 to tell your employer. Tell them right away to show them you are serious about obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Immediate notification also helps to show your injury is connected to your job.
Once you notify your supervisor, he or she will complete the Employer’s First Report of Work Injury or Illness.
Receiving Treatment from an Unauthorized Doctor
You can only receive treatment from a doctor who is on a panel of three doctors chosen by your employer. The doctor you choose will be known as your authorized treating physician.
Make sure to only seek treatment from the doctor you choose, otherwise your medical expenses may not be covered by workers’ compensation.
Waiting Too Long to File a Petition for Benefit Determination
Sometimes disputes arise during the workers’ compensation process. For example, you may disagree with your disability rating or you may be waiting on a list of doctors. When these things come up, you can file a Petition for Benefit Determination.
However, there is a deadline for filing this form. It is either one year from the date your injury occurred or the date of the last payment of medical benefits or temporary disability benefits.
Some employees are worried about an employer retaliating against them for filing a claim or disputing one, but this is not legal. If your employer threatens retaliation, it is vital that you speak to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer.
Contact a Qualified Lawyer for Legal Assistance
If you were injured at work, it is crucial to contact a trusted attorney with a proven track record. The legal team at Greg Coleman can provide you with qualified assistance throughout your workers’ compensation claim. We can explain eligibility, the process for obtaining benefits and answer any questions you may have. If you are denied benefits, we can help you through an appeal.
Contact us for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and receive our payment only if you are compensated first.
Call us at no obligation today at (865) 247-0080.