- February 8, 2022
- Attorney David Mann
- Workers' Compensation
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Workers’ Comp Benefits
Accidents happen, and when they happen on the job, you need to know how to increase your chance of getting workers’ comp benefits. These benefits include specialized compensation to help you get through the days ahead and back to work as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, such benefits aren’t automatic after a workplace injury. There are things you need to know and steps to take to ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Basics
When an injury requires a workers’ compensation claim, it helps to know the basics. Workers’ Compensation is a dedicated type of insurance carried by your employer for situations where employees suffer injury in the workplace.
In most states, including Georgia, businesses with at least three employees, whether full- or part-time, are required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance. While there are exceptions to this rule, such as with independent contractors, your employer most likely has you covered beginning on your first day of employment.
Workers’ comp benefits include coverage for:
- medical bills
- hospital stay expenses
- physical therapy
- vocational rehab (in some instances).
If you suffer injury from a workplace accident and cannot return to work for at least seven days, you are then eligible for weekly income benefits. Or, if a loved one dies due to a work-related accident, dependents may also be entitled to benefits.
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Workers’ Comp Benefits
Following a workplace accident in which your injury prevents you from returning to work right away, you need to understand how to increase your chances of getting workers’ comp benefits.
Below is a list of the must-dos to help you receive the benefits you deserve following a workplace injury or sickness.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Immediately following a workplace injury, or as soon as possible, seek a medical exam and treatment. In some instances, such as certain head injuries, injuries do not show symptoms right away, so always seek medical assistance even if you think you feel fine.
Inform the medical team of where and how the accident occurred and how the injury is affecting you. You don’t need to give excessive details at this stage. As you return for more appointments or treatments, continue to tell them how the injuries affect your daily life.
What you tell your doctor and medical team will be included in your medical record, which then goes to the insurance company when considering your claim.
2. Report Injury to Your Employer
As soon as you are able, report the accident and injury to your employer. The sooner you do this, the better and the higher your chances of getting workers’ comp benefits.
Limit how much you share with the employer. Concentrate on reporting your injury and a brief statement about how it occurred. You will provide more details when you file the claim itself.
3. File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
While you may inform your employer in person or over the phone, you also must put it in writing. Once alerted to the accident and injury, your employer will provide you with a form to fill out and return to them. From there, the employer will pass the form to the insurance company for review, evaluation, and awarding (or denying) of rightful benefits.
Be sure to fill the claim form out correctly, as the insurance company will use it as the foundation for your claim. Also, file the claim within the documented deadline, which, in most instances, is within 30 days of the injury.
4. Avoid Oversharing with the Insurance Company
While your first thoughts may be that the insurance company is there to help you, keep in mind that the adjuster’s first obligation is to the company and saving money for that company. While their role is to assign benefits, they will also be looking for ways to limit or deny your claim entirely.
For this reason, you’ll want to be mindful about the information you provide and avoid oversharing thoughts or information that can negatively impact your claim.
Following the filing, the insurance company may request more information, including a recorded statement. This statement may be to help confirm your claim or it could serve as another tactic for potentially finding something that can lead to a denial.
Before you respond and provide such a statement or other documentation, consult with your workers’ comp attorney for advice. Your attorney has experience dealing with insurance companies, understanding what is behind every request, and knowing how to negotiate to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
5. File an Appeal if Denied Benefits
Insurance companies search for reasons to deny a workers’ compensation claim. If this happens to you, know that you can file an appeal. Instead of giving up, fight the decision with the help of a dedicated workers’ comp attorney. You don’t have to go up against the huge, often intimidating, insurance companies alone.
How Do I Maximize My Work Comp Benefits?
While an insurance company may offer help early on, it’s important to consider the question of how do I maximize my work comp benefits? Here are ways to do just that.
Keep Thorough Records
Compile and continue to document details surrounding the accident and your injury. Don’t stop once your claim is filed. Continue to document everything pertaining to your injury.
Include your own personal notes, forms, other related paperwork, medical bills, and receipts. Also, hang on to any travel or parking receipts for trips to and from your medical treatments.
You’ll want to include notes on the following:
- Events leading up to the workplace injury
- Details about the accident that led to the injury
- The injury itself and how it is affecting you.
Be sure to include everything you can remember about the before, during, and after moments of the accident. Who was there? What time of day was it? Was the area well lit? Were there obstacles in the walkway? Did signs alert you to danger?
Include a timeline showing when the injury occurred, the date you notified the employer, when you filed the claim, all medical appointments and treatments for your injury. Note absences from work and any phone calls, emails, or text messages exchanged with your employer, medical personnel, or insurance companies.
Your records can play an important role in whether you receive benefits and how you can maximize them.
Continue with All Recommended Medical Treatments
Attend all doctor’s appointments and prescribed medical treatments, and also follow any directions given to you by the medical staff. In some instances, the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation may require reasonable medical treatments, so adhere to these as well.
If additional symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately and follow all medical advice. These newer symptoms may be related to your workplace injury and can affect your benefits.
Consult with an Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney
To maximize your workers’ compensation, consult with an experienced attorney who understands your state laws and knows how to negotiate with insurance companies. Most often, workers’ comp attorneys offer a free initial consultation to go over your case and provide advice as to how to move forward.
Contact Your Macon, Georgia, Worker’s Comp Lawyer Today
When it comes to workplace injuries, medical expenses and time away from work can vary. So too can the amount of workers’ compensation benefit you receive. To ensure you obtain the compensation you fully deserve from the insurance companies, you need an experienced workers’ comp lawyer on your side.
Mann Law firm in Macon has the experience you need in times like these. Call our office at (478) 742-3381 or go online to schedule your free initial consultation.