After a workplace accident, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of how to protect your physical and financial well-being. Unfortunately, this hesitation can lead to mistakes that hinder your ability to collect necessary workers' compensation benefits. Below, we outline three of the most common ways that many workers unintentionally harm their compensation claims.
3 errors that may hinder compensation efforts
1. Not reporting your injury. Some injured workers are nervous to report their accident or injury. Unfortunately, you cannot file a workers' compensation claim or gain benefits without officially filing a report with your employer. You should notify your supervisor immediately after the initial accident and explain all sustained injuries. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you in any way for reporting an accident.
2. Not seeking timely medical care. Visit a medical provider after your initial accident to properly document all injuries. You have a legal right to seek medical attention from the provider of your choice, as long as they are certified by New York's Workers' Compensation Board. Do not try to address your injuries alone. Even if you think you can care for your injuries without a healthcare professional, the extent of your injuries needs to be documented in order to pursue benefits.
3. Not retaining a workers' compensation attorney. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer understands the complexities of the legal system and can help you avoid common pitfalls to pursue maximum compensation. If your claim is initially denied, it does not mean that you do not qualify for benefits. An attorney can act as your advocate to pursue the benefits that you deserve either in or out of court.
What benefits can you gain from workers' comp?
Workers' compensation benefits can provide the financial support that you need after a serious accident. Benefits can cover medical bills, lost wages, necessary job retraining and compensation for permanent injuries. If you are injured at work, report your accident and pursue compensation immediately for the best chances of success.