Navigating the workers’ compensation claim process can be challenging. Besides documenting your illness or injury, you’ll have to keep track of deadlines and communication with your HR rep and your employer’s insurance provider.
This Myrtle Beach workers compensation lawyer sheds some light on some common mistakes to avoid when filing for compensation.
Not Hiring Legal Help
Hiring a lawyer should be one of the first things you do after reporting a work-related illness or injury.
Working with a legal representative can significantly affect how your employer’s insurance provider handles the claim. It shows you are serious about obtaining fair compensation, and the insurer will be less likely to offer a low amount.
A lawyer can also help gather the correct documents to supplement your claim, negotiate with your employer’s insurer on your behalf, and represent you during a workers’ comp hearing if you can’t reach a settlement.
Working with a lawyer makes this entire process less stressful and ensures a better outcome.
Not Knowing What Your Options Are
When navigating a workers’ comp case, it’s important to remember that your interests don’t align with those of your employer or their insurance provider.
As a result, it’s possible that the insurance provider will offer a low compensation or that your employer will fail to address your claim promptly.
You should know that you have options. After you notify your employer of your injury or illness, they will file a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
If you fail to notify your employer immediately, you have 90 days to report the injury or illness. If your employer isn’t processing your claim, you can file Form 50 or Form 52 in the event of the death of a relative to get the workers’ comp claim process started.
If the insurer reaches out to you with a low offer or denies the claim, you can ask for a hearing in court. If the outcome of the hearing isn’t what you hoped for, you can request an appeal.
Not Seeking Medical Care
Failure to seek medical care for your work-related illness or injury can indicate that the issue isn’t severe enough to warrant filing a workers’ comp claim.
Except for emergency care, you must seek care from a provider your employer and their insurer have approved.
The doctor who treats you will likely have some recommendations to help you recover. It’s crucial to follow all these recommendations and go through with the treatment plan.
Your doctor might order house rest, prescribe medication, and prohibit certain activities. If you fail to follow their recommendations, your employer’s insurer could deny your claim.
Failing to Document the Claim Accurately
When filing a workers’ comp claim, it’s best to provide as much information as possible. When reporting the injury or illness to your employer, be as precise as possible about how the incident happened. If possible, write down the names of any witnesses.
You have 90 days to report an incident and up to two years to seek compensation. However, it’s best to start this process immediately, so the details are fresh in your mind.
Report symptoms accurately when seeking care. Your medical records can be a helpful document to prove you have a legitimate case if you end up having to go to a hearing.
Lying about your symptoms or exaggerating your condition can invalidate your claim since a commissioner can ask for a medical opinion when reviewing your case if you go to a hearing.
These common workers’ comp mistakes can result in a denied or reduced claim. Increase your chances of receiving fair compensation by hiring a lawyer, researching your options, submitting accurate information, and following your doctor’s orders.