Injuries at work happen all the time. If you suffered an on-the-job job injury, you should know what to do, and what mistakes not to make. Mistakes could end up costing a workers’ compensation claim. When hurt at work, the actions you take immediately following may have major consequences for workers’ compensation claims. There are several common mistakes people injured in North Carolina make.
Not Reporting the Injury Right Away
This is by far the most common mistake. Worker’s compensation laws require an injured employee report any work-related injury in writing within 30 days to their employer or supervisor. By delaying the injury reporting, an employee may run the risk of having their integrity questioned. Even if the injury seems minor, reporting it promptly will help if the condition worsens over time.
Failure to disclose prior work injuries is a common blunder. Even if the earlier accident seemed minor, this could result in totally losing workers’ compensation benefits. Failure to file information regarding a previous injury may be fraud. An employee may also have to repay any workers’ compensation money they already received. When detailing medical history forms, or when talking to an insurance representative or case manager, be honest and open about any previous injuries or accidents on the job.
Not Reporting All Injuries
Failure to disclose the total extent of injuries is another common lapse. If someone fell and hurt their leg and suffered spine damage, they should disclose both injuries. Not reporting secondary injuries or disclosing them later appears as though the employee is trying to claim more than they are entitled to for worker’s compensation. It could also be workers’ compensation fraud. An individual should also fully disclose any new or additional symptoms that they are experiencing related to the work accident.
Refusing to Return to Work
A major blunder is refusing to return to work when able, even at a lower wage. Failure to accept a job offer may be a voluntary loss of income, which may end further workers’ compensation benefits. Also, an employer can fire a worker for not returning to work.
Even if someone thinks they cannot perform the duties of the job offered, they must try. When proving that the job duties are beyond their medical restrictions, the employee can claim they are unable to follow through with the new position.
Not Consulting with a Lawyer
Anyone thinking they can handle their own case after suffering an on the job injury is making a big mistake! Especially because their employer and the insurance company will have legal representation that will give them an advantage. Worker’s compensation law is difficult, and so is dealing with insurance companies, employers, and doctors. Even if a case seems very simple, an experienced lawyer could look out for the employee’s best interests.