The Do’s and Don’ts of Filing an Alabama Workers’ Compensation Claim

Feb 28, 2023 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

When you suffer an injury at work, workers’ compensation is a remedy typically available to help you with your bills until you are ready to return to your job. Workers’ comp generally pays you a portion of your salary and covers your medical bills. The process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation can be time-consuming even under the best of circumstances, and often, the circumstances are not ideal. To help your claim move as swiftly and easily as possible, pay attention to the do’s and don’ts listed below, and consult with a Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney from Cross & Smith, LLC

What You Should Do

Following are some tips to follow to support the success of your workers’ compensation claim.

Seek Medical Care

If the injury you sustain is considered an emergency and immediate medical care is necessary, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. In cases where the injury was not sustained in an emergency, you will need to check with your employer to find out their preferred medical provider. This is the provider you will need to see to seek medical care from, and if specialty care is needed, you may be referred by the first doctor you see to specialists. It is important that you follow through with any referrals made on your behalf.

Failing to seek medical care will have a significant effect on your ability to recover the compensation you are seeking. 

Report Your Injury ASAP

You cannot wait to report your on-the-job injury to your employer when you are seeking workers’ comp benefits. Generally speaking, you should report the injury as soon as possible within five days after it occurred. Failing to report your injury within this time frame can negatively affect your ability to make a successful claim for benefits. Sometimes, a failure to promptly report an injury causes others to feel your injury is not real or did not occur when and how you maintain that it did. 

After reporting your injury, follow up with your employer to ensure they file the workers’ comp claim (if they handle this part).  

Maintain All Records

The importance of maintaining copies of all documents and records you receive after filing your claim cannot be overemphasized. This includes medical records, prescription information, and any other evidence you may have. If there were witnesses to your accident, make certain you have their contact information and a copy of their statement if they gave one. You never know what may happen with your claim and it is important to be able to prove every aspect of what occurred as well as what has happened since that time. 

Consult With A Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation Attorney

It would be wonderful if all workers’ comp claims proceeded smoothly without any problems throughout the claims process. Unfortunately, it is common for issues to arise. These issues typically revolve around the employer or workers comp company failing to recognize the claim as legitimate. Reasons our Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney has seen these claims be denied include:

  • Employer or workers’ comp carrier does not believe the injury occurred
  • Employer or workers’ comp carrier believes the injury occurred while the employee was not working
  • Failure by a claimant to prove the inability to work

Whatever the reason, having an experienced Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney by your side can make the process run more smoothly and increase your odds of success. 

What You Should Not Do

Following are some tips from our Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney on things you should not do to maximize the success of your workers’ compensation claim. 

Do Not Ignore Doctor’s Orders

When you have been injured and you seek medical care from a physician, it is important to follow the orders of the doctor. For example, if you injured your wrist at work and you are told by the doctor to refrain from bending your wrist while it heals, make sure you heed that advice. If the insurer is able to prove you went skiing with your wrist in that condition, it will not reflect well on your claim for workers comp benefits. 

Do Not Exaggerate Circumstances or Forget Witnesses

When you report your injury, or when speaking about your injury, do not exaggerate or minimize what has happened to you. The insurer will look for reasons to deny your claim for benefits and everything you say matters. It is best to refrain from speaking to unnecessary parties about your claim and have your Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney present when you talk with the attorneys and representatives from the employer and insurance carrier. 

Do Not Agree to a Settlement or Give a Statement Without Seeking Legal Advice

The representative from the insurance company will likely contact you to give a statement about what happened to you when you sustained the injury. It is not in your best interest to agree to do this without first consulting with a Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney that is looking out for your best interest. The same can be said for any settlement offers you may receive. Without the advice of counsel, it is difficult for you to know whether or not the amount you are being offered is fair. 

Do Not Post On Social Media

We live in a society where people post every detail of their lives on social media platforms. As insurance carriers are looking for reasons to deny you benefits, it is best to stay off social media until you have completed the claims process. Anything you post, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, may be interpreted in a way that supports the denial of your benefits. 

Consult With A Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been injured while on the job, it is best to have a Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney help you with the workers’ comp process. At Cross & Smith, LLC, our lawyers are knowledgeable and here to assist you. Contact us via our website to learn more about our services.

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