You’ve been injured on the job and now your life is full of both pain and questions. How can I pay for treatment? Who can I talk to and trust? What if I can’t get back to work?
The workplace injury lawyers at Tobias, McCormick & Comer understand the worry and confusion that comes along with getting injured at work. We are experienced Mobile, Al workplace injury attorneys and are knowledgeable at handling such cases.
The choices an injured worker makes in the days and weeks after an accident can affect his or her recovery of adequate workers’ compensation as well as his or her future health and ability to work. If you make certain mistakes, it can become very difficult to get the medical care and other benefits you deserve. Here are four of the most common mistakes made by workers seeking compensation after an accident:
- Failing to provide prompt written notice of the accident — You must notify your employer within five days of the accident. However, our legal team has seen far too many cases where the worker verbally reported an accident to their boss and did not fill out a written accident report. Workers’ compensation insurance carriers look for any reason to deny workers’ comp claims, and without a written record of what happened, it’s much easier for them to do so. Always do it in writing. Even a short, typewritten explanation will do the job.
- Delaying medical diagnosis and treatment — To receive workers compensation benefits, you must be able to show that your injury was job-related and happened at work. The more time that passes between the injury and seeing a doctor, the harder it is for that doctor to give a diagnosis that you were hurt on the job. After all, something else could have happened in the meantime that caused an injury. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your pain will go away on its own, and don’t worry that your employer might get upset. Go to the doctor, seek treatment and start creating a paper trail.
- Trusting the case nurse provided by the insurance company — The employer’s insurance company may assign a case nurse/case manager to you. Remember that this person is employed by the insurance company and his or her goal could be to minimize the amount of benefits the company pays to you. You are not obligated to share personal matters or prior history with the case nurse. And if the nurse seems to be interrupting your discussions with your doctor, you have the right to meet with your doctor alone.
- Signing broad authorizations and releases for the insurance company — The workers’ compensation insurance carrier may ask you to sign forms allowing them access to your records. The problem is that sometimes these forms allow them access to nearly everything about your life, including tax records, housing information, past employment records and other information not at all related to medical care. Do not sign any such forms without talking to a lawyer first.
At Tobias, McCormick & Comer, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers in Alabama. Our Mobile-based firm has handled claims involving burns, falls, equipment failures, explosions and many other work-related accidents. If you would like to speak with a workplace attorney who can explain what to do after a work injury, call us at 251-432-5001 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free.