If you suffer a workplace injury, you may find it necessary to file a workers’ compensation claim. This allows you to receive regular payments until you’re able to return to work, among other benefits.
While you hope that your initial workers’ compensation claim is approved, you should prepare for a denial. Doing so will ensure that you’re in a position to take the appropriate steps to protect your legal rights.
There are various reasons for a workers’ compensation denial, with these among the most common:
You did not seek medical treatment
You should receive medical treatment after suffering an on-the-job injury. Furthermore, you should do so as quickly as possible. In addition to being essential for producing the best result for your health, early medical care helps support your claim, by corroborating your report of how you were injured. Be sure to give the doctors and other health care providers detailed and careful information about how your injury happened. Do not just assume that they already know or will be particularly interested in how you got hurt.
You did not file the claim on time
You shouldn’t wait to file a workers’ compensation claim, as there are deadlines in place. Doing it too late could result in an immediate denial. You must file it with the Industrial Commission, as your employer’s report does not satisfy your obligation. You don’t want to take the chance that something will slip up down the road and kill your case, on the technicality that you did not file.
You did not report your injury
One of the first things you should do after a workplace accident is to report it to your employer. It is best to give notice in writing, but giving a verbal report generally does not get in the way of a claim. Having it in writing provides documented evidence of the report. Always make sure to get a copy of any written report you give. It is helpful to tell as many supervisors as you can.
A detailed report immediately after an injury, along with doctors’ notes, bolsters the credibility of your claim. Remember that while you may think your request is compensable, carelessness in reporting can make it hard to prove your claim, if the employer resists it.
Your employer disputed your claim
A denial commonly happens if your employer believes your injury does not qualify for workers’ compensation for some reason. For example, under North Carolina law, if you injure your back at work while performing a routine activity, that injury is usually covered. However, for other body parts, the injury must usually be caused by an unforeseen event or an interruption of your work routine.
On the other hand, if there is something unusual about how you were picking it up, that could be considered may be an accident. In short, the employer may dispute the claim, but that does not mean that the employer is correct.
What can you do about it?
If you receive a denial, your first step is finding out the reason. Knowing why your employer denied your claim allows you to take immediate action. In many cases, providing additional information will result in approval.
Depending on the circumstances, you may need to appeal a workers’ compensation denial. Just the same as making a claim, take action as quickly as possible.
The assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney will give you peace of mind as you fight to protect your legal rights during this challenging time of your life.