Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Columbia

Workplace injuries are unfortunately a fact of life. What is also unfortunate – but avoidable – is that many workers’ compensation claims in Columbia, Missouri are denied. In fact, by some insurance group estimates, over 25% of workers’ compensation claims get denied in the first round. With millions of workplace injuries in the U.S. on a yearly basis, that means thousands of workers are left without the benefits they need and deserve.

Negotiating the workers’ compensation claim process can be challenging, especially if you’ve never had to file a claim before. But by being aware of the most common mistakes workers make when filing claims, you can improve your chances of successfully obtaining workers’ comp benefits. Let’s look at the most common mistakes to avoid when filing workers’ compensation claims in Columbia, MO.

Not Getting Immediate Medical Treatment

By far the most common workers’ compensation claim denial arises when workers fail to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. While it’s normal to be in a state of shock, workers should still make time to see their doctor as soon as possible, even if they feel like they can still do the job. Any delay in seeking medical treatment can raise red flags with workers’ compensation insurance companies and result in workers’ comp benefits getting denied.

Not Documenting the Accident Details

Along with seeking medical treatment, workers should make a point of documenting as many details about their accident as possible. This includes jotting down when the injury took place, how it happened, and the workers’ compensation claim number if they have it available. Having this information on hand will help workers’ compensation lawyers build a stronger workers’ comp case and increase the chances of workers’ comp benefits getting approved.

Failing to Keep a Record of Injuries and Treatment

Another common mistake workers make when making workers’ compensation claims is not keeping detailed records of their injuries and subsequent treatment. This includes everything from doctor’s appointments and medical bills to physical therapy receipts and prescriptions. Workers who have a paper trail of their injuries and treatment are in a much better position to prove their workers’ compensation case and collect the benefits they’re entitled to.

Not Reporting the Accident to Your Employer

Many workers are reluctant to report workplace accidents for fear of getting in trouble with their employers. But workers who fail to report an accident can end up missing out on workers’ compensation benefits altogether. It’s always best for workers to notify their supervisor or manager as soon as possible about an injury and follow up in writing.

Not Hiring a Competent Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In order for workers to have the best chance of winning workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Workers who try to go it alone or hire a general practice attorney are often at a disadvantage when dealing with workers’ compensation insurance companies. It’s also important to be upfront and honest about their injuries and accident, as this will help workers’ compensation lawyers build the strongest possible case. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will know the ins and outs of the workers’ comp system and will fight to get workers the benefits they’re entitled to.

Not Getting a Second Opinion or Getting an Independent Medical Exam

If your claim is being denied because of a pre-existing condition or something other reason related to the cause of your injury, employees should also make sure to consult with a doctor of their choice for a second opinion. Additionally, it always helpful at the end of a claim to consult with a physician for an independent medical examination ton increase the strength of your claim.  Those who take the workers’ compensation insurance company’s doctor at their word can end up receiving little to no benefits in their claim.

Failing to Cooperate with a Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Finally, workers need to be prepared to cooperate and follow through with a vocational rehabilitation program if workers’ compensation insurance companies require it. Refusing to participate in these programs can result in having workers’ compensation benefits denied. Workers should make sure to keep copies of all documentation related to the vocational rehabilitation program so that workers’ compensation lawyers can review it and ensure that workers are getting the benefits they’re entitled to.

Contact us Today to Speak with a Lawyer about Your Columbia Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you’ve been injured at work, it’s important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help workers in Columbia, Missouri build the strongest workers’ compensation case possible and ensure they get the workers’ comp benefits they deserve. To learn more about workers’ compensation claims in Columbia and how our lawyers can help, contact us today for a free consultation.

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