Sometimes even the best workers’ compensation attorneys will try to downplay the complexities of their clients’ cases in order to comfort them. However, at Pearson Koutcher Law, we believe that you have the best chance of success in your workers’ comp. claim if you are aware of the key don’ts. While this is not an all-encompassing list, below is a list of a few important things to avoid when going to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have any questions, please contact a PA workers’ compensation attorney for help. We are here for you.
The sooner that you report your injury to your employer, the more likely they will believe you injured yourself at work, and the quicker you are likely to start receiving your benefits. If you don’t report your injury within 21 days, you may lose your entitlement to some of your benefits; if you don’t report it within 120 days, your claim could be denied altogether. Whether your injury is serious or minor, don’t forget to report it right away.
If your employer has a panel comprised of medical providers to treat with if you injure yourself at work, you are required to treat with them for the first 90 days after your injury. These doctors will sometimes try to send you back to work before you’re physically capable of working so beware. After 90 days, however, you can treat with the doctors of your choice; if you hire a PA workers’ compensation attorney at Pearson Koutcher Law, we can refer you to patient-friendly doctors who will provide you with outstanding medical care.
Some injured workers think that having prior injuries will weaken their workers’ comp. claim and thus they try to conceal any injuries they sustained in the past. It is in your best interest to be transparent about your past injuries. If you injured your back at work last month but also injured your back in a car accident two years earlier, the car accident will not make you ineligible for workers’ comp. benefits as long as your work-related injury has prevented you from performing your job. So if you are asked by one of your doctors or at a deposition whether you have had prior injuries, don’t deny it if you really have injured yourself before – this will only backfire before the Judge. To discuss further, call any PA workers compensation attorney at Pearson Koutcher Law. We believe honesty is always the best policy.
Sometimes when workers injure themselves, they think that one of their injuries is minor and choose not to have it treated right away. For example, if you fall at work and break your leg but at the same time sprain your wrist badly, even though your doctors will be focusing mostly on your leg injury, you should also tell them about your wrist injury. If you do not mention your wrist injury initially, it may be difficult to add it to your claim later. So tell your doctors and receive treatment for all of your injuries as soon as they happen.
If your doctor recommends treatment for you and you refuse, the insurance company may try to stop your benefits. For example, if your doctor recommends that you undergo surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear in your shoulder and you decline because you’re fearful of surgery and just want to do physical therapy, the lawyer for the insurance company may file a petition on the basis that you refused reasonable medical treatment which would help you return to work. Unless there are extenuating circumstances in your case that make the recommended treatment, you could lose your benefits if you refuse to get the treatment. Or, if your doctor gives you restrictions, such as no heavy lifting, the insurance company may hire investigators to observe you and make sure you are staying within the parameters of your restrictions.
While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with social media, insurance companies can use what you post against you in your workers’ comp. claim. Let’s say you claim that your knee injury makes it hard for you to walk, and you post pictures of yourself playing basketball or dancing, the insurance company lawyer will submit these pictures to the Judge and argue that you have recovered from your injury — or at the least are not as injured as you claim. In order to steer clear of problems like this, we suggest that you avoid posting your activities on social media if you have a workers’ comp. claim. For more information, call any PA workers compensation attorney at Pearson Koutcher Law.
The insurance company will likely schedule you to attend an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). The insurance company is allowed to choose the doctor, and therefore this doctor does not necessarily have your best interest in mind when conducting the evaluation. However, you must cooperate and attend the IME; failure to show up will likely result in the lawyer for the insurance company filing a petition to compel you to attend.
At Pearson Koutcher Law, we believe in honesty and integrity. Our lawyers will always be up front with you about your case, the law, and our services. A PA workers’ compensation attorney from our either of our office will always be upfront with you about the law and our services. If you’re ready to talk to one of the best workers’ compensation attorneys in Pennsylvania, we’re hardworking, passionate and here to help. To schedule your free consultation and learn the do’s and don’ts of your workers’ comp. claim, please call us today.