Nearly 3 million workplace injuries were reported in 2014, with almost 1 million of those causing missed days. If you've been injured on the job, you're not alone—and you're entitled to compensation for your missed time. But if you're filing a workers compensation claim, there are some things you should know. Unfortunately, it's easy to sabotage your claim. Here's a look at three ways ways you can set up your workers compensation claim to be denied.
Being late to report an accident
The laws vary from state to state, but in most instances, you have to report a work accident within 30 days. If you encounter an injury on the job, it's best to report it immediately after it happens or immediately after you're diagnosed by a doctor. Check with your human resources department to see how they want notification, but this is usually done in writing. Be sure to save a copy of your notification letter in case any discrepancies arise.
Talking down your injuries
Being injured on the job is something to take seriously. Your employer may want you to give a statement about your injuries. Be careful that when you do this, you don't "talk down" your injuries, or make them seem like they're not that bad. If you say anything that undermines your injury story or your injury, you could find yourself having difficulty getting a claim approved. Postings on social media can be used for this same purpose. Be very careful about what you say about your injuries to anyone.
Going back to work too quickly
In many cases, a workers compensation insurer or an employer will let an employee return to work "whenever they're ready." Unfortunately, ambiguity can cause problems here. It's best to seek the advice of a doctor as to whether you're ready to return or not. Return to work too soon (even if you feel better), and you run the risk of aggravating an injury even worse. And if it's determined that you returned to work too early, you could have trouble filing another claim.
If you've been injured on your job, don't feel bad about seeking workers compensation. It's in place just for scenarios like this. There's nothing to feel guilty about, and you're not doing anything wrong. If you have been injured, your best course of action is probably going to be to enlist the services of a workers compensation attorney, such as the Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw. A workers comp lawyer has years of experience dealing with scenarios just like yours, and knows exactly how to best make the law work for you.