Workers’ compensation is a difficult area of law, where many people are unaware of their rights. Oftentimes when a worker is injured, it is tough to think clearly about what to do, especially when you do not know your rights. Some question whether or not they should file a workers’ compensation claim at all, and if and when they do, they make silly mistakes due to stress or ignorance that can hurt their case. Here are some mistakes to avoid to protect yourself and your case:
- Failing to report your injury to your employer. It is essential to inform your employer about the injury you sustained at work so that you can receive the proper medical care and compensation. Your employer will ask you to fill out a form and then given to the insurance carrier.
- Not giving the full details of your injury to your doctor. Your doctor needs to know how exactly and where you were injured, with no details spared. He/she also needs to know a list of all injuries. For example, many people complain about a singular “major” injury such as a broken bone when they may have also pulled muscles or injured their back. Each and every detail of your injuries is important for your case.
- Failing to notify your doctor of prior conditions and injuries. It is important to alert your doctor to any prior conditions or injuries you may have had. Workers’ comp covers both injuries that were solely caused by a work accident or old injuries that were aggravated by a work accident.
- Working/performing activities that you shouldn't’t be/getting caught on tape doing them. Not only can too much physical activity aggravate your injury, but can get your case thrown out as the court (and you employer) will argue that you are not truly injured badly enough to be out of work. You may be filmed via security camera at your work or in public.
- Failing to return to work on light duty if your doctor says you can. You should return with a discharge note from your doctor that explains what you can and cannot do. If your boss asks you to perform a task that is too much for you, show them your note. If you feel that you cannot work at all, you need to return to your doctor.
- Posting on social media. It is best for your case to disable all social media while it is being litigated. Anything you post can be used against you, especially statuses and photos that discuss your case or show you doing things that an injured person should not be doing.
- Not hiring the right attorney or not hiring one at all. The law concerning injured workers is complicated. Different attorneys specialize in different areas of law, so hiring a well-liked and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to represent your case is crucial. Being honest with your attorney about all details concerning your accident and work history are important to having a successful case.
If you avoid these mistakes, you are well on your way to a hassle-free case. Don’t hesitate to contact a local attorney to get started immediately. Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. has been representing injured workers for over twenty years. Call us today for a free consultation at (973) 285-1100 or fill out our online contact form.