Following a work-related injury, filing for and obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be a frustrating and rather lengthy process. The system has a strict set of deadlines and requires a lot of paperwork. Employers and insurance companies tend to have competing interests with the worker and that can lead to an overwhelming situation. This is especially true when a victim is handling this on their own while also managing the pain of their injuries. Roughly half of all workers’ compensation claims are denied each year. Often these denials are the result of avoidable mistakes. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure you avoid mistakes and get approved for your benefits the first time you apply.
Do I Need to Report My Injury?
Most states provide injured workers with up to a year to file their claim for workers’ compensation benefits. That said, the more time that passes, the more difficult it is to secure benefits. The injured employee needs to report their injury to their employer right away. Even if your employer doesn’t require the employee to complete an official incident report, it’s still a good idea to report the injury in writing as this creates a clear record and timeline of the injury. A delay in filing, especially without a written report on record, could make it appear that the injury is not nearly as severe as the victim claims.
Do I Need to Seek Medical Attention?
Not seeing medical attention or not following the physician’s orders is an easy way to get denied benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are there to treat an injury and help a worker recover. If an injured worker doesn’t immediately seek treatment, it may come across as though there isn’t really an injury and they are just trying to work the system. Likewise, if a doctor prescribes a treatment plan and the worker fails to comply with it, it will be viewed negatively. If there isn’t a record of an injury or illness to make it impossible for an employee to work, it will likely be determined that the worker isn’t eligible for benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can connect victims with a physician that handles these cases all the time and knows exactly what needs to be included in the medical report for the best chance of approval.
Do I Need to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Workers are often hesitant to hire a lawyer, for a few different reasons. They might not know how to find one, think they can’t afford one or don’t think they need one. While there are a few basic legal issues an individual can hire on their own, enlisting the help of a reputable workers’ compensation attorney can be a big help in obtaining the maximum compensation a victim deserves.
Lawyers who specialize in Mississippi workers’ compensation cases know workers’ rights better than anyone and can negotiate with employers and insurance companies. Most workers’ compensation law firms work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay any fees unless your claim succeeds. Call Rundlett Law Firm, PLLC today at 601-353-8504 and let us help you navigate the world of workers’ comp.