07 Nov Claim Adjusters’ Best Tips to Avoid Workers’ Comp Missteps
If you really want to know how to make the most of your workers’ comp claim, you need the insight of experts. This includes a renowned legal team—as well as the inside scoop from claim adjusters themselves. These professionals specialize in coordinating workers’ compensation claims and everything it entails, from communicating with medical providers to working directly with the claimants.
What are their top tips for not making a mistake in the Workers’ Comp process?
• Not immediately telling your employer. This is by far the biggest mistake. Legally, you need to tell your employer within 90 days in New Jersey (it varies by state). However, sooner is always better because if you wait, it looks fishy. Workers’ compensation injuries are serious and require medical attention. If you wait, it looks like you’re hiding something, the injury is exaggerated, or another type of red flag might be thrown up. Sometimes injured workers assume their employer knows because “it’s obvious.” Nothing is ever obvious in the legal world. Don’t just tell your employer, but leave a paper trail of the complaint.
• Only telling your medical team. Another common assumption is that telling your doctor “counts” as starting the claims process. Although you should certainly tell your doctor the injury happened at work and they should report it, in the end telling your employer is your responsibility.
• Not filing because you don’t think you qualify. The theme here is assumptions. Don’t assume you don’t qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. If you get hurt in any work-related event, it’s in your best interest to file a claim. If you don’t qualify, legally it can’t impact your employment simply because you filed a claim. It’s simply protecting yourself.
• Not filing a claim because you think your injury made a pre-existing condition worse. Some people don’t file a claim because they had a pre-existing medical condition and the work injury made it worse—it didn’t cause the original injury. Many successful workers’ compensation claims have been filed when a pre-existing condition was there.
• Not filing a claim because you didn’t take time off of work. While part of a successful workers’ compensation claim often requires time taken off work, that’s not always the case. Sometimes employees struggle through work even when they shouldn’t. Plus, sometimes injuries seem minor at first but are exacerbated over time.
• Not filing a claim because the injury didn’t stem from a single incident. Repetitive stress injuries and other injuries that occurred from more than one incident often qualify for workers’ compensation claims. Only your attorney can tell you if you qualify and if you should move forward with a claim.