Many people, understandably, do not prepare for such events, but this might lead to problems.
When a worker has an injury on the job, they must know what to do and what not to do.
The most common mistakes can often end up greatly decreasing a person's medical care and potential financial compensation:
- Failing to Report a Workplace Injury in a Timely Manner
The most common mistake is failing to notify your employer as soon as possible after an accident. Worker's compensation rules in Texas mandate that an injured employee disclose any accident involving harm to their employer or supervisor within 30 days of occurrence. Also, you need to file a Notice of Injury with the division of Workers’ Compensation within one (1) year of the date of injury.
- Failing to Report All Injuries
The second most common mistake is omitting to tell your doctor about the full extent of your workplace injuries. Don't forget to tell your boss if you fell at work and harmed your back while simultaneously injuring your leg. It would appear as if you are trying to claim more than you are entitled to if you fail to report secondary injuries and then bring them up later. This could potentially be construed as an attempt of worker's compensation fraud. For example, if your injury caused you motor function loss, blurred vision, gastrointestinal problems, flu-like symptoms, etc. it is vital for you to include this while reporting the full extent of your injury.
- Failing to Report Previous Injuries
The third most common mistake is failing to report previous injuries to your attorney, or to the employer or insurance company if asked. Even if a previous accident was minor or you were injured but didn't disclose it because you were afraid of losing your job, any failure to report a previous incident could result in your compensation being fully lost. It is even possible to be charged with fraud if you do not file a report on previous injuries.
- Refusing to Return to Work When your Treating Doctor gives Restrictions
The fourth most common mistake is failing to return to work when you are told by your Workers’ Compensation doctor that you are able to return to work. Be sure and take the restrictions to your employer and see if they have work for you within the restrictions.. Even if you don't think you'll be able to perform the duties of your previous or newly-offered position at 100%, you must still make a visual attempt at accepting the position being offered. If you do not, future Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs) will be suspended. In many cases, the employer will not have work for you within the restrictions and then TIBs will continue. The job offered could even be at a lower wage than your original position, but refusing a new job offer by your employer is deemed a voluntary loss of income. Again, if you do not accept the position offered, any additional benefits or compensation may be forfeited. Worse, your employer may fire you for "refusing to work."
- Trying to Handle Your Workers’ Compensation case Without a Lawyer
A common mistake made by workplace injury victims is believing they can handle their case without an attorney or thinking the insurance company is looking after your welfare. Workers’ Compensation law is very complicated with many deadlines. In fact, you will not even know you are missing deadlines that may be fatal in your case. While it is possible to represent yourself in court, it is not recommended.
- The insurance company, as well as your employer, will almost certainly confer with legal counsel about your case, and you should do the same. Insurance companies aren't on your side, regardless of what they say or how they present themselves. It is in their best interests for them to pay you the least amount possible for your injury. Insurance companies specialize at exploiting loopholes and use a variety of techniques to persuade workers' compensation claimants to make mistakes that jeopardize their case. It sends a statement to your employer and the insurance company that you are serious about your workers' compensation claim when you have an experienced workers' compensation lawyer on your side.
You have nothing to lose by requesting a free case consultation with a worker's compensation attorney!
Contact us for free today so one of our licensed and experienced attorneys and staff can help guide you through a Personal Injury or Workers' Compensation process in the state of Texas.