When you file a workers' compensation claim, it is natural to assume that your employer is going to look out for you. The truth is that workers' compensation groups are looking out for themselves, and often try to find ways to minimize what they have to pay you in order to maximize their own pockets. That is why, once you file a workers' compensation claim, you need to be smart about your next moves.
Be Honest & Specific About Your Accident
When you write your claim and give it to your employer, be very honest and specific about how you were injured. Do not excuse or apologize or accept responsibility for what happened to you. Just be clear about your injury and the cause of your injury.
When you meet with a medical professional for treatment, be sure to very clearly note that the injury happened at work and once again describe clearly what happened to you. Ask to see the doctor's notes, and make sure that they have the information about your accident recorded correctly. Share the same information with each medical professional who treats you.
Being consistent with your workplace and with all doctors who treat you.
Make sure that your statement clearly describes what you were doing at work exactly when you were hurt, as well as the date and time of the accident, and how it has impacted you. The workers' compensation adjuster will look for holes in your story and being consistent always will help your case.
Be Careful About Medical Access
Next, when working on a workers' compensation case, they are going to ask for your medical records. Do not give the workers' compensation a general release for your medical records. This will allow them access to all your medical records, from your mental health records to your dental records.
Do not sign a general authorization. Instead, sign an authorization that is very specific and only grants access to medical records that are directly related to your work-injury accident. You don't want your insurance adjuster to have access to information they don't need. You may need an attorney to help you draft an authorization that is more favorable to you.
Be Careful About Your Activities
Workers' compensation adjusters do not just look at your medical records; they watch what you are doing to make sure that you are actually hurt. It is not uncommon for them to monitor your social media accounts make sure that you show up to your appointments and even cruise by your home.
Limit your social media activities while your claim is active. Show up to all appointments, and be careful that you don't engage in activities you shouldn't while you are healing.
When it comes to a workers' compensation claim, hire a workers' compensation attorney who can help you make smart decisions that will protect your best interests.