Here are some of the most common mistakes made by injured workers and how they can harm your workers’ compensation claim:
1. Failing to report the accident to your employer.
You should report your injury to your supervisor immediately. Many people who are injured at work don’t want to cause a scene, so they try and work through the pain, hoping it will go away on its own. This is a mistake. Pennsylvania law requires you to give notice of your injury to your employer no later than 120 days after the accident. Failure to take action within the time limits mandated by law can forever bar you from receiving benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
2. Assuming your boss reported everything to his or her insurance company.
It is always a good idea to double-check that your boss or supervisor submitted the proper paperwork. You should request to receive copies of all documentation associated with your work injury. Maintaining a paper trail of documents and notes will ensure that you have back up in case any aspect of your claim comes into question.
3. Delaying medical treatment or not following doctors’ orders.
Do not ignore your injury or delay going to a physician. It is important to keep all doctors’ appointments and follow your doctors’ recommendations for medical treatment. If your treating physician tells workers’ comp that you are not doing what is necessary to recover from your injury, your claim for benefits may be affected.
4. Withholding information about your medical history.
Be accurate and pay attention when filling out medical history questionnaires or speaking to an adjuster, case manager or treating physician. Failure to disclose information about previous accidents, injuries, and medical treatment can result in denial or suspension of workers’ compensation benefits.
5. Not consulting with an attorney right away.
Attorneys who handle workers’ compensation are familiar with the complex issues that may arise throughout the course of a claim. An experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the system so that your case runs smoothly from start to finish. Without legal advice, you may unknowingly do or say things that could put your claim in jeopardy.
Metzger Wickersham handles workers’ compensation claims throughout Pennsylvania. The firm has offices in Wilkes-Barre, Pottsville, York, Lancaster, Shippensburg, and Harrisburg, PA. Contact us online for a free case evaluation with one of our certified workers’ compensation attorneys.