The first thing you should do to maximize your workers’ compensation settlement is to file your claim. Don’t wait. Do it as soon as you can after your accident. Documentation is also essential, so write down everything about your injury and keep accurate records of treatment, therapy, expenses, and information related to your case.
If you need help, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC is ready to fight for what you deserve.
Knowing Your Workers’ Comp Rights and Benefits
According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (G.S. § 97-1 through 97-200), employees injured on the job can receive medical benefits and wage replacement. In South Carolina, Title 42 covers workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation rules can be confusing. Legal representation can be beneficial, especially when your injuries keep you out of work or alter your ability to perform your job at the same level. A law firm that serves workers’ compensation cases knows the filing requirements, deadlines, and documentation necessary to present your claim.
What You Can Do to Maximize Your Benefits
You should be aware of several things that you can do to maximize your benefits under workers’ comp laws in North or South Carolina. We briefly mentioned the two above and will elaborate on those and more. When you have questions, a workers’ compensation attorney can help guide you.
File a Claim ASAP
You need to inform your employer of your injury when you are injured at work. The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim is not automatic. You must file a claim to request your benefits in addition to notifying your employer. Most employers have a standard form, but if they do not, you may use the form in use by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Notify Your Employer of the Injury
Please notify your direct supervisor of your injury immediately. Delaying this notification may cause delays in your claim. You cannot be fired for reporting a work-related injury or requesting workers’ compensation.
Seek Medical Care Immediately
Even if you feel your job-related injury will clear on its own in a short time, seek medical attention. If co-workers or your supervisor call an ambulance – take the ride. If they insist you see the company nurse – go. Refusing medical assistance can be seen as a potential reason to deny your claim if you wait to seek medical attention. Don’t wait.
Request Second Opinion If Not Satisfied
Some workers’ compensation rules require you to see specific doctors for your initial claim. They may require a certain number of visits or a time frame. Remember, the assigned doctor doesn’t work for you – they work for the insurance company that would love any excuse to deny your claim. If you are not satisfied with your treatment, you may request a second opinion from another doctor or medical professional.
Be Specific About Your Injury
When describing your accident’s details, be specific without adding extraneous information. Be honest, but relay just the facts. Leave out commentary like, “I’ve done it that way a million times, but this time something went wrong” and similar opinion-based statements. Stick to the basic information, such as, “I was doing this part of my job. I felt this sensation in my back (leg, arm, or other body parts). The pain began a few moments later and is now excruciating.”
Taking notes can come in handy. You want your information to remain the same each time you have to relay it to someone new during the claims process. You want to tell the doctor the same thing you will later need to tell the claims adjuster. Lack of consistency may cause delays in the processing of your claim.
Maintain a Record of Everything
Dedicating a notebook to your injury notes is an excellent way to keep all your information in one location. You should keep all documentation, medical records, receipts, mileage, medications, billing statements, notes from phone calls, including times and dates, copies of filed forms, and notes about your accident in one place. Take your notebook to doctor’s appointments to record notes while they are fresh in your mind. If you have someone that you trust with you, they can be in charge of taking notes for you.
You’re Being Watched
Workers’ compensation is insurance. The insurance company’s prime objective is to find any reason to deny your claim. Depending on the degree of your injury, they may go to great lengths to find reasons to deny your claim. They may hire an investigator, scour your social media accounts, or attempt to find videos of you doing things you shouldn’t be able to do with your injuries. Don’t miss scheduled appointments, limit access to your medical records, take medications as prescribed, and follow all doctor’s instructions regarding physical and occupational therapy.
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Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC Has a Workers’ Comp Team
Our workers’ compensation team is ready to represent you. Our team members know the ins and outs of the entire compensation process. They can guide you through each step from your initial filing to a final settlement. We will fight for every compensation benefit that you are entitled to.
If you have already had your initial claim denied, we can work on filing an appeal. Our team knows what information is necessary to prove your claim. Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, for a free case evaluation to start today.