Being injured on the job leaves employees in the especially difficult position of suffering an injury that interferes with their ability to earn a living while they also face mounting medical bills. Workers’ compensation is designed to bridge this gap – allowing those injured on the job to seek compensation without filing a personal injury claim, which helps to streamline the process and takes the matter of negligence out of the equation. Knowing the common mistakes employees make in a workers’ compensation claim can help you protect your own rights – in pursuit of your fullest recovery. If you have been injured at work, protecting your rights and rightful compensation is key, and the experienced California workers’ compensation attorneys at Diefer Law Group (888) 301-7795 are well prepared to help.
California Workers’ Compensation
The State of California affords employees protections that include workers’ compensation. The state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is responsible for the administration of claims, and the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) offers a comprehensive guidebook for workers who are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation laws are complicated, but obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled can play a pivotal role in your ability to recover as fully as possible, which makes it important to safeguard yourself against the mistakes employees make in a workers’ compensation claim.
One: Failing to Seek Medical Attention
If you are injured on the job, you are not doing yourself any favors by ignoring the issue or by putting off seeking the medical attention that you need. A primary tenant of health care is that early diagnosis is very closely associated with improved health outcomes, which makes it in your best interest to obtain medical care sooner rather than later. This is not only the best approach in terms of your overall health but also in terms of your workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation insurance provider handling your claim is profit driven, and as such, it will be carefully following your case in search of any reason to deny that your injuries are as extensive as you say they are – and your failure to seek prompt medical attention could be used to bolster their efforts.
Two: Failing to Report Your Injury
In order to bring a successful workers’ compensation claim, your injury must have been sustained on the job – or must be work related – and demonstrating that this is true hinges on reporting the injury to your employer. DIR informs employees that it is important to notify one’s supervisor of a work injury as soon as possible, which helps to ensure that the workers’ compensation process will proceed smoothly forward. Further, failure to report an injury within 30 days could lead to a loss of rights as they relate to workers’ compensation benefits. The dedicated California workers’ compensation attorneys at Diefer Law Group recognize the difficult position you find yourself in and are committed to skillfully advocating for your rights.
Three: Failing to Consider Visiting with an Attorney
Your ability to fully recover from your work-related injury can rely on your ability to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Because workers’ compensation law is complex and the insurance company handling your claim is invested in keeping your settlement low, having professional legal counsel in your corner can help you understand your legal rights. Your seasoned workers’ compensation attorney will be able take on all the following primary tasks in pursuit of your claim’s resolution:
- Gathering and compiling your medical bills, your treatment history, and all related expert testimony from your treating physicians
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Skillfully negotiating a settlement agreement that fairly addresses your complete range of covered losses
- Advising you in relation to third-party claims – in the event you have a personal injury claim against a party other than your employer
- Helping you make legal decisions throughout the claims process – without jeopardizing your rights along the way
- Preparing for and skillfully representing you at a hearing or trial – if the insurance provider fails to engage in fair negotiations
Four: Accepting a Settlement Without Professional Legal Guidance
If the workers’ compensation insurance company that is handling your claim comes back with an early settlement offer, it could be an attempt to finalize your claim before you recognize just how serious your overall losses are. You may be off the job and facing both decreased earnings and mounting medical bills, which could leave you open to accepting a low settlement out of sheer desperation. To ensure that your rights are well protected and that your covered losses are well represented, it is important to consider visiting with a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney prior to accepting a settlement.
Five: Documenting Your Journey Online
Many of us have gotten in the habit of sharing every aspect of our lives on social media, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with this practice, posting on social media at this juncture could harm your workers’ compensation claim. The insurance company is looking for any information it can find to support its own version of events, and it may not be above twisting your posts, comments, or photos in an effort to tarnish your claim. This can be something as simple as using a post assuring your loved ones that you are fine to support the idea that you were not as seriously injured on the job as your claim contends.
Reach Out to an Experienced California Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
The accomplished California workers’ compensation attorneys at Diefer Law Group – proudly serving Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, and Dana Point – dedicate their practice to helping injured workers like you avoid the mistakes employees make in a workers’ compensation claim – and recover on their complete losses in the process. We are here for you too, so please do not wait to contact or call us at (888) 301-7795 for more information today.