Mistakes That Workers Often Make in Workers’ Compensation Cases
Oklahoma workers who are involved in a workplace accident should immediately consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Without strong representation, you could lose out on your claim for benefits, be denied the medical help you need, or lose out on additional benefits you should be entitled to receive.
Employees who act without counsel often:
- Fail to timely and properly notify their employee about their injury. There are several reasons why workers shouldn’t delay telling a supervisor or employer that were hurt on the job. If you wait too long, you may forfeit your right to file a claim. Even a short wait, can be used against you. Employers and insurance companies will likely argue that if you were really hurt, you would have told them right away. Workers who are injured while away from the main site should find a way to report their accident to someone in authority at the main work site as soon as possible after an accident.
- Not getting prompt medical treatment. Delay can affect your ability to get the best medical care possible. The sooner you see a physician, the sooner and better your recovery should be. As with delayed reporting, delaying treatment will be used against you. The employer may argue the delay means your injuries weren’t that serious.
- Letting your pride get in the way. If you say you’re not really hurting when you are, the employer will use that statement against you to contest your workers’ compensation claim.
- Not explaining how the injury happened to your doctors. The doctors you initially see are usually physicians chosen by the employer. If you don’t explain how the injury happened and that it happened at work, the employer may claim your injuries happened away from work. Workers are only entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the accident happened while they were on the job. Each doctor you see should understand that work caused the accident. You don’t have to show or explain that the injury was due to negligence – just that it happened while you were working.
- Not taking the doctor’s advice. If you don’t follow through with the doctor’s recommendations, the employer may try to terminate your benefits and cease paying your medical bills. Failure to follow the advice can hurt your recovery in addition to being used as a means to end your claim. An experienced Oklahoma workers’ compensation lawyer will help arrange for you to get an independent medical opinion or to see other doctors if the treating doctor isn’t working to help you get better.
- Not working with nurse case managers. Employers have the right to hire nurse case managers to monitor your medical recovery. These managers will use any excuse to tell the employer you’re not cooperating. There are limits on what nurse case managers can do. An experienced Oklahoma work injury lawyer can explain these limitations.
Additional work injury mistakes include:
- Failing to meet vocational requirements such as seeking work that meets your work limitations. You must apply for work and interview with prospective employers if your doctors says you can return to work.
- Not filing the right forms. You shouldn’t assume the employer will file the forms for you
- Not being prepared for the hearing. If there are hearings, you do need to understand how to prove the extent of your medical injuries, that you’re complying with the worker’s compensation requirements, and that your injury or illness was work related.
At Cunningham & Mears in Oklahoma City, we’re proud to help injured workers. We guide our clients through every step, and offer honest, practical guidance. If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim in Oklahoma, please call 405-232-1212 or fill out our contact form today.
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Marcus P. Mears is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Mears is committed to helping Oklahoma’s injured victims in the areas of injury law and insurance litigation. Mr. Mears was selected to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his work as lead counsel in multiple seven figure injury cases. Learn More