Nobody expects to be injured in a sudden workplace accident. As medical bills and lost wages pile up, it can be difficult to make ends meet or know where to turn for help. Fortunately, workers who become injured or ill in connection with the duties of their occupation may collect financial benefits under California’s workers’ compensation system. Filing a successful claim can be difficult, however, as workers can encounter numerous pitfalls along the way which can negatively impact their chances of securing a fair settlement.
If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, be sure to avoid the following five mistakes:
- Failing to act quickly: As soon as you can after suffering your injury, document all relevant facts and record your personal account of the events leading up to your injury. The more time that passes after your accident, the more details will be forgotten – details which can be crucial to the outcome of your claim. Be as proactive as you can and write down everything that seems important, including who was present, when your injury happened, what happened, where it happened, and any other details. Informing your employer promptly of your injury is also crucial, since waiting too long could cause you to forfeit your right to benefits.
- Not seeing a doctor: Seeking a full medical evaluation is crucial after your accident, as any injuries not reported in your claim may not be compensable. It is not uncommon for certain injuries to have delayed symptoms which may not present themselves for days or weeks after an accident. Likewise, be sure to tell your doctor everything you can about the details surrounding your accident and your pain levels.
- Exaggerating your injuries: While it is important to inform your doctor of all symptoms and injuries, it is also important you remain truthful. The California workers’ compensation system is highly vulnerable to fraud, and doctors know this. If your doctor should suspect that you are presenting your injuries as being more severe than they actually are, they may mark you as a “malingerer” on your records, thereby devaluing or even dismissing your claim altogether from the start.
- Not obeying your doctor’s orders: In order to receive benefits and continue to receive them throughout the duration of your claim, you must faithfully adhere to your doctor’s treatment plan as prescribed. Attend all appointments, take all medications, and refrain from engaging in all prohibited activities. If your doctor says you can return to light work, do so. Failing to follow your doctor’s advice is one of the easiest ways to give the insurance company a reason to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
- Not hiring the right attorney: Hiring the wrong attorney – or not hiring one at all – can considerably hinder your ability to secure the compensation you deserve. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and help you identify certain factors that you may not have considered on your own, putting you in the best position possible to achieve a favorable outcome. In addition, an attorney will be able to evaluate any proposed settlement and make any recommendations before you agree to sign anything.
More Than $400 Million Recovered – Call (844) 612-5800
If you are suffering from a work-related injury or illness, you need an Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer from Humphrey & Associates on your side. With more than 20 years of legal experience and a dedication to providing ethical and compassionate representation, our team of advocates can help simplify the workers’ compensation process and ensure your rights are asserted during this frustrating time.
We are available 24/7 – contact us online today to discuss your claim in detail.