As your lawyers, our goal is to remove as much of your stress as possible after a work injury. We will deal with the insurance company, get your lost wages paid, and ensure that the medical bills get paid without your involvement. But there are a few things you can do to help your case and to ensure a speedier final recovery.
Notify us before and after major medical appointments, particularly if you are being referred to a new doctor or health care provider. It is important for us to order all of your medical records, which will be used to prove your case. Furthermore, we cannot make sure that your medical bills are paid unless we know who are receiving treatment from.
When you go to the doctor, be sure to tell the doctor about all of your complaints, no matter how minor. Omitting what seems to be a minor problem could have devastating effects later if that minor problem develops into one of significance. The insurance companies frequently argue that the injury is not related to the work injury.
In the beginning of your claim, try to give us copies of your paystubs for the 14 weeks immediately before the accident. Be sure to include paystubs for bonuses, holiday pay or vacation pay that are not included in your standard paystub. These are important to help us verify your employer’s calculation of your Average Weekly Wage (AWW), which is what they use to decide how much to pay you during your time off.
Also, if you do not receive a lost wage check within a few days of the normal delivery date, or if the check suddenly changes in amount, contact us immediately. The insurance companies do not typically give us notice of these payments, so we need you to tell us when income is not being paid as it should.
If you use social networking, like Facebook, Twitter, or blogging, be careful what you post. We prefer that you not include information about your claim, your treatment, or your physical condition. Be careful posting pictures, and be careful with pictures “tagged” by your friends. Pictures can be misconstrued, and do not tell the full story. Nevertheless, they can be persuasive to a Commissioner who may wonder whether you are really injured if a picture shows you playing football. Also, do not “friend” anyone that you do not know. It is not unheard of for employers or insurance companies to try to gain access to the restricted sections of your social networking profiles.
Likewise, remember that the insurance company is not above sending a private investigator to follow you around and take pictures or video in an attempt to “catch” you doing something that someone in your condition shouldn’t be able to do. Typically these “gotchas” don’t amount to much (particularly when we discover the full video or all of the pictures), but it is best to be careful. If you think you are being followed, let us know immediately.
Keep careful track of any expenses that you have related to your injury. If you drive to therapy, carefully log the date and mileage, and submit these amounts to your lawyer on a regular basis. If you purchase any products to help, for example, special shoes after a broken foot injury, save the receipts and forward copies to us. In some cases, we may be able to get your expenses reimbursed.
Keep in touch with your employer. Remember that taking off more time than you legitimately require will not improve your workers’ compensation case. Workers’ compensation commissioners, who decide your case, are typically more impressed by workers who try to get back to work. You should be diligent about your medical care and therapy, and go to light duty when and if it becomes an option. Going back to work when you are able to can be important to allowing you to keep your job.
If you have questions after a work injury in Maryland , contact us today. We will take care of you and get you what you deserve.