For some people, a bad day at work means making it late to the office or missing a tight deadline. For others, it can be an expected work accident that leads to a serious injury.
The steps that you take after a work accident can make or break your ability to successfully obtain workers’ compensation benefits. In other words, failing to take certain courses of action may lead to your claim being denied or you receiving fewer benefits than you deserve.
At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, our legal team is dedicated to providing resources to those injured across Georgia, even before they get in touch with an attorney. Here are four mistakes to avoid after your workplace accident to ensure that your workers’ comp claim is built on solid evidence and you have the best chances at receiving maximum benefits.
1. Not Reporting the Injury Immediately
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your work injury to your employer. Georgia law requires all injured workers to report their injury within 30 days of the incident that caused the injury; if you miss this deadline, you may be barred from pursuing benefits.
When you report the injury to your supervisor or employer, they will be required to file an injury report with their insurance company. But you shouldn’t just assume that they will. It’s always a good idea to double that they submitted the proper paperwork; you can ask for copies of all related documents so that you can keep a paper trail for your own records.
2. Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Seeing a doctor for a proper medical diagnosis is crucial when it comes to pursuing benefits, yet many people miss this step completely. Some work accidents result in immediate and evident injuries, such as a broken bone or a head wound that is bleeding. However, other injuries may not show symptoms until later hours, days, or even weeks later.
Medical records are a key piece of evidence for any workers’ compensation claim. Your doctor will include information about the extent of your injuries, how you sustained them, and when and where it happened. If you wait an extended period of time for medical treatment, the insurance company investigating your claim may say there is a lack of evidence showing direct causation between your injuries and your work accident.
Even if you do not feel injured, always get medical attention! It’s better to be on the safe side and know that everything is documented and you get any medical treatment that you may need.
3. Posting on Social Media
In today’s world, it’s hard to find someone you know that isn’t on some form of social media. Individuals use these platforms to stay connected with friends and family and share their experiences online. However, when it comes to your workers’ comp case, you should think twice before hitting the “post” button on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform.
Even something seemingly innocuous, a simple post or a picture, may be used as evidence against your claim. For instance, you may post a photo of you on a hike or going to a restaurant with a friend. Even if the photo doesn’t show your injuries, it may show that you are living your life normally, and the insurance adjuster may use this as evidence to show your work injuries are not as bad as you claim them to be.
Remember, even if your account is set on private, nothing that you post online is untraceable, especially for a claims investigator who is looking for evidence against you.
4. Filing a Claim Without an Attorney
Before speaking with the insurance adjuster about your injury, it’s always recommended that you speak with a local workers’ compensation attorney who knows the ins and outs of this type of law and will work hard with your best interests in mind.
Workers’ compensation cases are inherently complex. To successfully pursue the benefits you deserve, you want someone on your side who will conduct a thorough investigation into your work accident, gather and file all documents and paperwork, and ensure that all necessary deadlines are met.
Contact Our Firm for a Free Case Review
Our managing partner, Nathaniel Hansford, has 20+ years of legal experience and always puts his clients first. No two work injuries are exactly the same, which is why we offer personalized legal strategies for each client that comes through our doors. Whatever the situation of your work injury, you can be confident knowing that your case is in the most capable hands.
There are absolutely no fees and no obligations to simply sit down with our workers’ comp attorneys and discuss your options moving forward. Our top priority is the safety and health of our local communities. If you are continuing to social distance amid the coronavirus pandemic, we can provide you with an initial phone or video consultation.
For dedicated, caring, and skilled legal representation, contact The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford at (770) 629-9321 at your earliest convenience.