Missteps That Can Hurt Your Chances of Recovering Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Employees who are injured on the job receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury-related losses. Employees must follow specific steps to receive the benefits. Failure to follow those steps can cost you time and money.
If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury in South Carolina, be aware of the following common missteps:
Waiting too long to report the injury or accident: Report the incident to your employer quickly. If you do not report the injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to benefits. Your employer or the insurance administrator can argue that your injury was caused by another event and deny your claim. If your injury prevents you from reporting the accident, ask someone you trust to deliver the notification on your behalf.
Saying the wrong thing to your boss after an injury: Reporting your work injury to your supervisor is one of the most important steps in a workers’ compensation case. Be specific when discussing the incident. Explain that you got hurt in a work-related accident and describe the details. Create a paper trail by sending a follow-up letter describing your injury. Only tell the details of what happened. Never accept responsibility or say anything that could be used against you.
Failing to See an Approved Doctor: Your employer must provide at least six doctors who are approved to treat workers’ compensation cases. If you go to another physician rather than one approved by your employer, your claim could be denied.
Signing paperwork for a settlement without having a lawyer review it first: By signing paperwork presented by an insurer, you indicate that you fully understand and agree to the terms. Be sure you clearly understand the terms of any settlement agreement. In many cases, you are agreeing to a settlement, but you also are agreeing that you will not seek additional compensation. A lawyer can help you understand the settlement so you know exactly what you are signing.
Neglecting to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer: The best way to increase your chances of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is to work with an attorney who has experience with workplace injury cases. Your John Mobley Law Firm workers’ comp attorney will understand the specifics of the state workers’ comp system and help you navigate every stage of the claims process.