1. Failure to be honest in all aspects of your injury and your claim.
Claims can be reduced or destroyed by the employee not being honest about something that has very little impact on the claim. Be honest with your employer, doctor and attorney.
2. Failure to give notice to your employer of your injury.
Section 42-15-20 states that every injured employee shall immediately, on the occurrence of an accident or thereafter as practical, give notice to his employer of the accident.
Let you employer know about your accident immediately. The law gives you 90 days, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to prove your injury.
3. Failure to notify each and every doctor you see that your problems came from a work related injury.
Notify your doctor on your first visit that your injury is work-related. If it’s not in the medical record, the worker’s comp insurance company can try to make an issue out of the fact you did not report it.
4. Failure to notify your doctor of all the problems you are experiencing due to a work-related injury.
Don’t assume anything is a minor injury until the symptoms are gone and the doctor is convinced it is fully healed. Report each and every physical and emotional injury after the accident to each doctor you see.
5. Failure to do all scheduled appointments and failure to do what the doctor(s) tell you to do.
If you quit accepting medical treatment, it allows the insurance company to stop your benefits.
6. Failure to try to return to work if and when your doctor believes you are capable of doing so.
If you fail to accept work that meets your restrictions, the insurance company has the right to file a Form 21, requesting that the benefits be terminated.
7. Performing work outside the restrictions given to you by your doctor.
Make sure your give your employer the restrictions given to you by your doctor. If your employer requests you perform work outside the restrictions, notify your doctor first.
8. Failing to realize that the insurance company may have you followed by a private investigator to take video surveillance of you at all times of the day.
Live within the restrictions the doctor gives you at both work and home. Private investigators are used to videotape claimants in order to try to disprove that he/she is injured.
9. Trusting the insurance company in determining your compensation rate.
Your compensation rate is two-thirds your average weekly wage. Insurance companies like to underestimate the average weekly wage as much as possible. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that your benefits are correct.
10. Settling a workers’ compensation claim involving permanent impairment and/or the potential need for future treatment without the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
The insurance adjusted is looking out for his/her company’s best interest, not yours. He/she has no legal, moral or financial obligations to ensure that you receive al the benefits you are entitled. You are at a great disadvantage if you do not know your legal rights.