If you’ve been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Coordinating with your employer, attending to your medical treatment and communicating with your insurance company are vital in order to avoid your benefits being terminated early or being wrongfully denied compensation altogether. And if you’re in the Chattanooga, TN area, consulting a Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyer is another important step in ensuring that you get the benefits that you deserve.
Coordinating With Your Employer
When you get injured on the job, report the incident to your supervisor as soon as possible so you can begin filling out the appropriate paperwork. Workers’ compensation laws generally require you to report your injury within thirty days of your accident, if not sooner.
There is even a chance that they will deny your claim if you do not report it immediately. So if you get hurt at work, the safest thing to do is to report it as soon as possible, whether you end up needing the benefits or not.
Be Thorough and Accurate
When you do report your injury to your superior, make sure that you describe what happened accurately and in detail. Your initial injury report is one of the most important documents for insurers and workers’ compensation.
Along with communicating with your supervisor about the incident, talk to your fellow coworkers who were present when you sustained your injury. Take down their names and make sure that you can use them as witnesses if you need to prove that your injury did, in fact, occur at work.
Attending to Your Medical Treatment
If your work injury is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention, ask to be taken to the emergency room or to a walk-in clinic. Even if your injury is not an emergency, go ahead and make an appointment to see your doctor to have the injury checked out. If you don’t seek medical attention soon after you sustain your injury, insurance companies may deny your benefits claiming that your injuries weren’t serious enough.
When you do seek medical attention, take care to describe exactly what happened to your doctor. You don’t necessarily have to go over every detail, but make sure that it is clear what happened and that it happened while you were at work. Your insurer obtains your medical record from your medical practitioner, so you want to ensure that the record is as accurate as possible.
If your injury requires continued medical treatment beyond your initial visit, make sure that you follow up with each appointment. If you miss your appointments or don’t follow the prescribed treatment plan, your insurer will likely terminate your benefits.
Communicating With Your Insurance Company
Your insurer has a right to the medical records pertaining to your work injury. So go ahead and sign the medical authorization request for your insurer, but make sure that it is a limited request only allowing them to view those particular records. They don’t have a right to your entire medical history.
Along with a medical records request, your insurer may also request a tape recorded statement with your description of your accident and injuries. Unless you have enlisted the help of a lawyer who suggests doing this, it doesn’t benefit you to do so.
Remember that keeping all of your statements consistent is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you receive the appropriate benefits and compensation for your injuries. If your stories are inconsistent, your case will suffer and you may be denied benefits.
Consult a Chattanooga Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation can be a tricky system to navigate, especially while you’re dealing with your injuries. Consult an experienced Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyer from McMahan Law Firm to help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.