The steps taken by a worker in the aftermath of an accident can make or break his or her ability to receive benefits. Unfortunately, what seems like a small mistake can end up costing one significantly in terms of a settlement. Here are 5 mistakes an injured worker should avoid to protect his or her rights and ability to recover compensation.
Not Reporting the Injury in a Timely Manner
Many employees don’t report injuries immediately due to a fear of retaliation. However, a workplace injury should be reported right away, even when it seems minor. In Nevada, an injured worker must file an incident report with his or her employer within 7 days of the accident. A worker who fails to report an accident quickly runs the risk of having a case’s integrity questioned.
Failing to Seek Medical Attention
When it comes to pursuing benefits, seeking medical attention is crucial. Some accidents cause immediate and obvious injuries, but others may not show symptoms until days or weeks later. Medical records play a vital role in a workers’ compensation claim. The doctor will include information about the extent of the injuries and how they affect a person’s life. If an injured worker fails to see a doctor right after the accident, an insurer may say there’s insufficient evidence showing direct causation between the accident and the injuries.
Failing to Report All Injuries
An injured worker must be completely transparent when it comes to the facts about the accident. A victim should disclose any information regarding past work-related injuries and pre-existing conditions, even if not related to the current incident. A failure to do so can result in allegations of fraudulent behavior.
Turning Down a Work Position
After medical examination, a doctor will tell the worker about his or her work status, which can be “light work,” “work with restrictions,” or “no work.” An employee is obligated to take the position offered based on the assigned status. If they fail to return to work or turn down the offer, it could be considered a voluntary refusal of income.
Not Hiring an Attorney
Attempting to win a workers’ compensation case without representation is difficult, especially if concerns are raised or the claim is denied. It’s imperative for victims to hire a workers’ comp lawyer to help reveal defenses that the opposing party might try to use. Getting legal representation increases the victim’s chances of receiving the maximum compensation possible.