I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
Ideally, you should get your workers' compensation benefits as soon as you file a legitimate claim. Unfortunately, some workers' compensation adjusters might complicate the process unnecessarily and delay your benefits. Below are examples of such tactics and the complications that can happen.
An honest and open communication channel is necessary for resolving workers' compensation claims. You should be able to reach the adjuster with your questions or documents. The adjuster should also be able to reach you whenever they want to pass communication.
However, some adjusters are not so keen on communication with injured workers. They might not reply to your questions in time. They may even become unreachable. Document all your communications with the adjuster to protect yourself in such cases. Avoid verbal agreements or reports that you cannot prove later.
A difficult agent can also require documents or information that does not affect your claim. They may even require some things multiple times. For example, they may request accident medical records that don't have anything to do with your current injury. They may ask you for a recorded statement when your lawyer is absent.
Pass every request to your lawyer before providing documents to the adjuster, especially recorded statements. The adjuster should deal with your lawyer so the lawyer can communicate with you on legitimate requests.
Light Duty Incentives
Your workers' compensation benefits continue as long as you recover and cannot work. When your resume work, workers' compensation terminates your benefits if you can work at full wages. You get reduced benefits and partial wages if you can only do light duties.
Some employers try to game the system by pressuring or coercing employees to return to work prematurely. However, you should resist coercion for two main reasons. First, premature return to work may delay your recovery. Secondly, you might miss the benefits you deserve because of an early return to work.
Lastly, you should watch out for payment delays on benefits you already qualify for. For example, you should get approved medical benefits; your medical providers might terminate their services if they don't get their payments. Some adjusters might delay some payments, claiming they are unnecessary.
The law is clear on workers' compensation benefits. Consult a lawyer who understands these issues so you don't miss the benefits you deserve. Most adjusters will take your case more seriously if you work with a workers comp lawyer than with a DIY claim.