The average employee probably doesn’t know much about workers’ compensation other than the fact that they can claim benefits if they get hurt at work. That lack of knowledge can lead to big mistakes when someone needs benefits eventually.
All too often, injured employees left to their own devices will make mistakes that impact the success of their workers’ compensation claim. What are some of the most common mistakes?
Not reporting an injury or filing the claim quickly
Timing is everything when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio. The sooner you notify your employer of your injury, the better the workplace documentation will support your need for benefits.
You also have to formally file a claim for benefits within the first year after you get hurt or diagnosed with a condition or risk losing your right to benefits.
Not following medical directions
Whether an employee goes back to work when their doctor says they need to take time off or they refuse to attend physical therapy, they can hurt their own claim by not following medical advice. Workers who are non-compliant with the recommended treatment may disqualify themselves for future disability benefits and even future medical coverage.
Not getting the accommodations they need
Often, if you do return to work after an injury, you may need assistive technology or modified job responsibilities. A worker receiving workers’ compensation benefits could ask the doctor overseeing their care to write out the necessary accommodations or workplace restrictions for the return to their job and ask their employer to help. Your employer has an obligation to cooperate and should support you in your desire to continue working rather than punishing you for asking for help.
Not getting help when things get complicated
Whether your employer takes a contentious approach to your claim or you need to appeal to get benefits, it could be a big mistake to try to handle a complex workers’ compensation claim without professional support. When you have an attorney assisting with your claim, your risk of mistakes will decrease, and your ability to focus on your own healing instead of on paperwork increases.
Avoiding the biggest workers’ compensation mistakes when you need to claim benefits can help you cope with the consequences of a work-related medical condition.