Almost everyone who works for a living can receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits if they get hurt on the job. These benefits also protect people who develop work-acquired medical conditions, such as cancer due to radiation exposure.
Workers’ compensation isn’t necessarily a given after someone gets hurt at work. Some people will face a rejected claim and need to appeal to get benefits. Often, these workers have made some minor mistake that affected their claim.
What are the most common mistakes made by workers who need workers’ compensation benefits?
They don’t report the injury to their employer
When you get hurt on the job, you may try to continue with your workday like nothing happened. If your doctor diagnoses you with the work required medical condition, you may want to try to manage the issue on your own without involving your employer.
Unfortunately, if you wait too long, you could lose your rights and benefits. Generally, you have to notify your employer of an injury or diagnosis within 30 days if you want workers’ compensation benefits.
They don’t get medical care or follow medical instructions
Some workers who get hurt while lifting on the job might wait a week to see a doctor. They won’t go until the pain is so bad that they can’t even comfortably sit on the couch anymore.
Others will go see a doctor right away and then stop following up with the recommended medical treatment, especially if it requires a substantial investment from the worker, like the time and effort required for physical therapy. If a worker doesn’t see a doctor or doesn’t follow a doctor’s recommendations, those mistakes could limit their right to benefits.
They don’t ask their doctor to write a note
Another mistake commonly made by workers with an injury that affects their job is the failure to secure medical recommendations or records. Employers should accommodate you if you need support to keep working, but you can’t just make a verbal claim about accommodations.
You will need some kind of documentation from your physician. Asking for your doctor to write out limitations on the work that you can perform might embarrass you, but failing to do that might lead to denials that make your injury worse. Not having medical documentation could also affect an initial claim for benefits.
Recognizing how little mistakes can affect your right to workers’ compensation can help you get the benefits you need.