Workers Compensation can provide wage loss and medical benefits, among other benefits, to Maryland injured workers. That is why it is imperative to seek legal counsel that has experience in handling workers compensation matters. Avoiding mistakes in your workers compensation claim can help you get the benefits you deserve and are entitled to as an injured worker. Here are common mistakes that injured workers should avoid.
Reporting the Work Injury
Reporting a work injury right away and filing a report with your employer can go along way in a smooth claim process. Maryland injured workers should always keep in mind the statutory 10 day notice requirement. You MUST report the injury within ten days. Failure to do may bar your claim. Some employers try and talk injured workers in to not reporting the injury, or they may say that you had a preexisting condition. Don’t fall for it. Report it and document it. Failure to report the work injury right away will draw skepticism form the employer and likely lead to a denial.
Big Pointer – Report he injury immediately after it occurs and file a report with your employer in writing. Describe how the injury occurred din detail and the body parts that were injured.
Reporting Accurate Details to Your Medical Provider
First, it is imperative to not wait to seek medical treatment. Again, just like with notice of injury to the employer, failure to seek timely and immediate medical care may very well draw skepticism and lead to a denial. Failure to treat right away may also look skeptical to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Second, be sure to tell each medical provider you treat with for the work injury the details on how you were injured at work. The medical providers are dictating medical records from your treating appointments. Report the details and keep it consistent. Additionally, make sure you tell medical providers about ALL injuries you sustained, not just the one that hurts the most. That is essential.
Big Pointer – Seek medical treatment right away and provide detailed explanations of how you were injured and what you injured.
Know who is on YOUR SIDE
Often times employers appear to be sympathetic. So do insurance adjusters and nurse case managers. However, it is imperative to remember that the employer and insurance carrier have liability with your work injury. They will do everything they can to talk you out of a claim or limit the claim. You have to be your own advocate, but you should also certainly rely on Mooney law as your legal advocate.
Big Pointer – The employer and insurance carrier have opposite interests of an injured worker.
Be Careful Who you talk to about your work injury
Co-employees can be friends. So can supervisors and bosses. However, it is important to know that they can also be witnesses called by the insurance carrier at your hearing to dispute your work injury. It is easy to express frustrations and the like with friends who are co-workers. Resists doing so. Remember, your co-workers are paid by your employer, not you.
Big Pointer – Do not discuss your work injury case with co-workers.
Do Not Hide Pre-existing Conditions
If a pre-existing condition is aggravated by a work injury, then injured workers may be entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits. Yes, there are elements with pre-existing conditions that must be proven, such as your injury at least is partially related to the work accident. Remember, if your pre-existing condition was even partially worsened by the work injury, the insurance carrier is responsible for all medical treatment. Many employers and insurance carrier will indeed argue your pre-existing condition was not worsened. They will even tell you that since you have a pre-existing condition you can’t get workers’ compensation benefits. They are wrong.
Likewise, hiding a pre-existing condition can do significant damage to your case. It undermines your credibility. If you have a pre-existing condition and the work injury worsened it, disclose and be upfront.
Big Pointer – Pre-existing conditions are NOT a bar to benefits but you should disclose it.
Finally, do not go it alone.
Workers’ compensation can be quite a complex process. There are burdens of proof that must be met. Your employer and insurance carrier are out to limit their liability. But, that doesn’t help you does it? Call Mooney Law today so we can handle the complex process for you and protect and fight for your rights and benefits. You can call us today at 301-329-3630 or 717-200-HELP for an absolutely free consultation. Visit us on the web at Mooney4Law.com.