After experiencing an injury or illness while on the job, you may not give much thought to the reporting process. After all, something happened and, as a result, you are required to file a report. While this process might seem straightforward, in reality, a potential reporting mistake could create a slew of problems for you. From the very beginning, it is important to know how and what to report to boost your chances of a successful claim.
Remember, the very actions that you take in the first few days of an incident will have a direct impact on your claim. For starters, no work-related injury or illness should be kept a secret. Even if you feel reluctant to make a report, your supervisor must be notified immediately. You need to put any fears of losing your job or feeling embarrassed aside.
If you do not immediately report an on-the-job accident or illness, it could come back at a later time and wreak havoc on your claim. In addition, there are strict limitations as to the amount of time you have before making a report, which varies by state. No matter what the situation is, reporting early will increase your chance of a quick and fair claim.
Not going to the doctor after being injured or becoming ill while working is another huge mistake. Not only is this important for your health, seeking medical attention right away allows you to share details while they are still fresh on your mind. If you do not seek medical attention immediately following an incident, the insurance company will question whether an injury or illness even occurred. At that point, it becomes increasingly harder to convince the insurance company of the facts.
Something else of extreme importance is that at no time should you provide false information. In other words, if you were injured from falling over backward in your chair while goofing off with another employee, never tell your supervisor, the doctor, or the insurance company representative that one of the wheels fell off, causing you to lose your balance. Although a little white lie may not seem significant, any untruth would be damaging to your case. If questions arise about the incident, the insurance company may opt to hire a private investigator to get to the truth.
Another mistake to avoid is not seeking legal counsel. Even for small injuries or mild sicknesses, you need professional advice from a reputable attorney who specializes in occupational and workman’s compensation cases. Just as with reporting the incident to your supervisor, always provide your attorney with the hard facts. Only then can your lawyer provide exceptional service that ensures a positive financial outcome.
Obviously, you never want to get hurt or fall ill when working. However, if you do, the way you handle reporting and the additional decisions that you make will affect the claim. Rather than take a chance, rely on a qualified attorney for guidance.