Every worker should understand that if they get injured on the job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim in order to obtain damages to help them recover from their injuries. While most workers usually understand this, the problem is that too many seem to think it’s a definite payout. Although workers’ compensation is a form of insurance, that’s actually no guarantee you’ll get the money you need to help recover from your accident. A lot of things could stand in your way.
Your Employment Status Might Be Questioned
It’s tough to believe, but many workers have filed workers’ compensation claims only to have the insurance companies come back and question them about their status as an employee. If you’re classified as an independent contractor, then your would-be employer has no obligation to make sure you get paid for your injury. For this reason, the company you work for could try to reclassify you in the midst of such an accident.
There Were No Witnesses
If you find yourself injured at work, collect as many witnesses as possible, if you’re able to. Getting injured while on the clock doesn’t actually entitle you to a payout. You may have been horsing around. Perhaps you weren’t wearing the safety equipment you were given. These are just two examples of how an insurance company could review your claim and deny it.
While no one has to give testimony right away, you’ll want to make sure you have the names of people who can testify to what happened.
You Didn’t Report Your Injury Right Away
Another important piece of advice is to report your injury the moment it happens (if possible). A lot of people have had trouble with their workers’ compensation claims because they didn’t report it right away. It doesn’t mean they had any bad intentions, but that might not be how the insurance company sees it. For example, someone may have tripped over a cord and hurt themselves attempting to break their fall, but decided to try walking it off.
Insurance companies may claim that what really happened is you hurt yourself later that night at home and just wanted a free payout. This is why you have to report the injury ASAP.
You Got Laid Off
You also want to file right away so the unforeseen doesn’t get in the way. For all you know, you could be scheduled to get laid off next week. Hopefully, that’s not true, but countless others have found themselves in this situation. Before they get the bad news, though, they’re injured. They figure they’ll file the claim in a couple days, but before they do, they get laid off.
To the insurance company, it could look like you’re just an angry ex-employee hoping to get some money from your former employer and maybe some revenge at the same time.
This is why you want an attorney on your side who has experience with these matters. While it’s up to you to report your accident right away and be 100% honest, they can look over your claim with you to ensure you get paid.