The Justice You Deserve: 8 Tips to Maximise Your Worker’s Compensation Payout
Worker’s compensation cases can be difficult because there are hundreds of classification codes, employers always want to contest how much they owe and proving your injuries can be hard without the proper documentation. Not only that, but the insurance company will do whatever they can to reduce your payments. These eight tips will help you maximize your worker’s compensation payout.
Immediately Report the Case
You should immediately report an injury to your manager or HR department as soon as possible. If possible, you should report it the same day to ensure that you remain credible throughout the whole process. Each state has rules about how long after an injury or accident you can report it to your manager. Many people get reduced payments or no payments at all because they report the incident after this limitation.
Report the incident as soon as possible to ensure that you can effectively pursue payment for the injury. For more information about codes and reporting the incident, you can read more here. Waiting is the worst thing you can do, so be quick about this and let your employer know that you were injured.
Prompt Medical Treatment
This is similar to the above point, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the incident. There are two important reasons for this. The first is that the medical documentation will prove that you were injured and it will detail the extent of your injuries.
The second reason is that insurance may not pay as much or at all if you delay a trip to the doctor. They can argue that your injury wasn’t that bad because you were able to wait, or that you received the injury somewhere else and you’re trying to blame it on your employer.
You will likely have to go to several doctor’s appointments before even collecting. Be sure to keep all of these appointments and see the appropriate doctor for your needs.
In some states and regions, you are forced to see the insurance company’s doctor. While not always the case, these doctors may say that your injuries aren’t as bad as they truly are in order to protect the insurance company. If this is the case, then check your state’s laws and see how you can change doctors.
Some states say that you can only change the doctor once while others may have a waiting period before you can see another doctor. Other states allow you to see whichever doctor you like, which makes the process easier overall for you.
This may sound crazy, but the truth is that insurance companies regularly hire private investigators to follow people who are collecting worker’s compensation money. This will usually only be done if they question your credibility, but sometimes it’s done at random.
These people will follow you and collect footage of anything that contradicts your claim. For example, if the doctor says that you can’t lift any heavy objects but you are seen lifting something, then this footage will be used against you. A lawyer can help fight any captured footage, but keep this in mind and don’t do anything that goes against the doctor’s orders.
Keep All Documents
If the insurance company is fighting your case, then they will do anything possible to reduce or remove your benefits. For example, if you don’t have all your documentation ready, then they might be able to stop your benefits because you can’t prove one thing or another.
Be sure to keep all of your documents concerning the case. Don’t expect your doctor or anyone else to do this for you. Have a folder ready for the accident report, doctor’s orders, work restrictions and so on. This can also help you get the highest payment because you’ll easily be able to prove whatever point you need to in court or to the insurance company.
Appeal a Denial
Insurance companies will do whatever they can to save money. This includes frequently denying legitimate cases where you clearly deserve payment. Some people take a denial at face value and won’t pursue the case any further. This is always the wrong thing to do. If you receive a denial and you know that you have a good case, then you should appeal.
This gives you another chance to prove that you are injured and deserve payment. You may want to consider hiring a lawyer at this point since these cases can be complicated.
Attend Every Meeting and Appointment
Missing just one legal meeting or doctor’s appointment can reduce or remove your worker’s compensation payment. Missing a doctor’s appointment can be misconstrued as you saying that your injuries aren’t that bad and you can go back to work. Not attending a legal meeting allows the insurance company to prove their point without your involvement. For example, they can easily say that you deserve a lower payment and you won’t be there to defend yourself.
Even if you have a lawyer, you’ll need to attend some or all legal meetings. Be sure to ask your lawyer about this to ensure that you receive and keep the highest worker’s compensation payment.
The insurance company will do whatever they can to prove that you don’t deserve money. Any problem with your case will be used against you, so you have to always be on guard. The biggest problem that trips people up is inconsistent details. For example, you might forget the date or all the specific details about your injury.
If you give inconsistent details at any point during your case, this will be used against you. Write everything down and keep giving the same details over and over, no matter how many times you are asked.
Worker’s compensation cases can be difficult because the insurance company will do whatever they can to reduce or remove your payments. Aside from being consistent at all times and following the doctor’s orders exactly, you need to report the injury immediately and see a doctor as soon as possible for the highest payout. Just follow these tips and you should be able to receive the highest payout for your case.
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