Mistakes to avoid after a workplace injury
In the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, which includes parts of Illinois as well as Missouri, most businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This insurance provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job or who contract occupational diseases. Workers are not required to prove that their employers were negligent to recover benefits from workers’ compensation. However, employees are also prevented from suing their employers since this coverage is available. This means that workers’ comp is the sole avenue of recovery for most workers who are injured at work, making it important to avoid making mistakes with their claims.
Failing to report an injury
The workers’ compensation system requires workers to report their injuries to their supervisors immediately or as soon as practicable. If you fail to report your injury to your employer, you might not be able to recover benefits for your medical expenses and income losses. Make sure to make your report in writing as soon as your injury happens, and keep a copy of the report you make. You will then receive a claim form that you should complete and turn into your employer.
Not going to a doctor promptly
When you are injured at work, you should see a doctor immediately. If you fail to do so, your employer’s insurance carrier will likely argue that your injuries happened elsewhere and were not caused by your workplace accident. Failing to get medical care could result in a denial of your claim. After you see your doctor, you should also keep all scheduled medical appointments and follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations to protect your rights to recover benefits.
When you are injured at work, make sure to follow all of the deadlines for your claim. You should also avoid returning to work too soon. If you are told by the insurance company that you must return to work and have reached maximum medical improvement, talking to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is a good idea. Finally, depending on the circumstances of the accident, you might also have more than a workers’ compensation claim available to you. If an attorney identifies a third party that negligently caused your accident, filing a personal injury lawsuit in addition could help you to recover full compensation.