Getting injured at work is a big deal. Not only can this affect your income, but work injuries are often related to temporary or permanent disability, which could impact your quality of life. It’s important to hire a work accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can avoid costly mistakes that could undermine your worker’s compensation settlement.
Ask a Work Accident Lawyer: Six Things That Could Affect Your Settlement
1. Your Employer Doesn’t Offer Worker’s Compensation Insurance
In Texas, private employers are not obligated to provide worker’s compensation insurance to employees. Because it’s optional for Texas employers to offer worker’s compensation benefits, it’s likely your workplace accident claim will be different if your employer doesn’t offer this insurance. For example, instead of appealing to your employer for worker’s compensation benefits, you will need to work with a lawyer to receive compensation for your injuries.
2. You Didn’t Report Your Injury Right Away
Whether or not your employer offers worker’s compensation benefits, if you are injured at work, then you need to report your injury immediately. Delaying the reporting of your injury can be a major mistake for your workplace accident claim. This is because if you do not report your injury right away, your employer will try to say that you were not injured at work and deny your claim.
When you are injured at work, you should immediately stop your task and report your injury to your immediate supervisor. From there, your supervisor should allow you to seek medical treatment for your injury. You or your supervisor will need to file forms for your workplace accident so that your employer knows you were injured on the job.
3. You Didn’t Describe Your Injury or Accident Accurately
When you report your injury, it’s important to be as accurate and consistent as possible. Although injuries can cause shock and pain can make communication somewhat difficult, the account of your injury must be consistent whether you are talking to a physician or your employer.
Specifically, you will need to ensure that you are describing your injury or accident accurately to the physician you see immediately after you are injured since this account will be included in your medical records. Your medical records for the treatment of your injuries will be critical to proving your workplace worker’s compensation claim.
4. You Don’t Comply With Your Treatment Plan
Not complying with the recommended treatment plan is also a costly mistake. Many people who have injuries that are not visible, such as concussions, may discontinue at-home treatments or may stop attending follow-up appointments. However, when you are seeking worker’s compensation benefits, you must comply with the recommended treatment plan from your physician.
If you do not comply or you discontinue your treatment, you may lose your worker’s compensation benefits. Your employer will know if you are complying with the recommended treatment plan because your physician will likely be appointed by the worker’s compensation insurance company. Since worker’s compensation insurance is paying for your treatments, the insurance company will know if you stop attending appointments.
5. You Aren’t Careful About What You Put Online
You must also be careful about what you put online. Insurance companies that provide worker’s compensation benefits often check the social media accounts of people who are injured at work. Insurance companies do this to verify that injuries are not being exaggerated.
If you are posting online in a way that can undermine your case, such as bragging about your benefits or suggesting that your injuries are not serious, this could prevent you from claiming worker’s compensation benefits. Even if you feel your post is harmless, it can potentially undermine your case if it is misused by the wrong person, so it’s best not to discuss it.
Why Other Forms of Communication Might Matter
Other forms of communication, such as texting, may also undermine your case. Anything you put in writing can potentially be used against you, so just as you should be careful with what you post on social media, you should also be careful about what you text to friends and family about your condition.
6. You Didn’t Hire a Lawyer
Finally, not hiring Houston work accident injury lawyers is another major mistake. You will need the help of a lawyer to obtain compensation if your employer does not offer worker’s compensation insurance, or if this benefit has been denied to you for any reason. Furthermore, you have the right to legal representation, and if your employer is reluctant to pay for your medical bills, then you may need to sue for compensation.
If you are injured at work, then you should immediately inform your employer and seek medical attention. Once you’re being treated, you should file a worker’s compensation claim and think about hiring a work accident lawyer. The advice you get from your lawyer will be your best chance of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.