After suffering an injury at work, it is important to follow through the workers’ compensation process to ensure you obtain the benefits you are entitled to. Unfortunately, many employees make a number of mistakes and missteps along the way that prevent them from receiving their workers’ compensation benefits. What kind of mistakes should you avoid and what can you do to prevent your claim from being denied?
Below is a list of common mistakes made throughout the workers’ compensation claims process:
- You did not report the injury: In California, it is required to give your employer a written notice of your work-related illness or injury within 30 days of the incident. For some work-related illnesses, employees are able to notify their employer of it once they know about it, since many occupational illnesses happen over a span of time and cannot be detected early on. Do not miss out on the statute of limitations for your claim and make sure you report the incident and your injury as soon as possible.
- You did not seek medical treatment: If a worker did not seek any kind of medical care or treatment, then it will be interpreted to mean that no injuries exist and, therefore, workers’ compensation benefits are not warranted. Make sure you see a doctor to begin documenting the injury and its recovery process. Moreover, you should also follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan. Failure to do so could also potentially hurt your claim.
- You signed documents without an attorney: You should never sign any documents until they have been reviewed by your workers’ compensation attorney and you fully understand the ramifications of providing your signature. Keep in mind that once you accept a settlement offer, your claim will be closed and you will not be able to revisit it. If you end up accepting a low-ball offer, you could end up footing the bill for your medical expenses.
- You did not hire a workers’ compensation attorney: Many injured workers often decide not to hire an attorney. This is usually because they are unsure if they need one, do not know where to find the right one, or are worried about the costs. However, having an attorney on your side who is skilled in handling workers’ compensation cases can mean the difference between successfully obtaining the benefits you need or failing. Workers’ compensation law is not easy, so hire an attorney to protect your rights.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento
If you sustained an injury while at work, it is crucial that you seek experienced legal representation. At Smolich & Smolich in Sacramento, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys is dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured workers to ensure they are able to obtain the benefits they deserve and need during this difficult time. You will not owe us any legal fees unless we are able to win your case.