You were injured on the job. Whether it was a fall or a slip on a slippery floor, an object falling on you, or another tripping you, no matter what, it left you needing medical attention and assistance.
Being injured at work is frustrating and traumatic for many reasons beyond just the injury itself. There are suddenly a number of big concerns. How long will you be out? Is the injury permanent? Will there be long-term pain? How will you pay for all this?
The answer to the last one should be easy: workers’ compensation. Yet, too often, those claims get rejected.
How can you avoid this fate? Keep these 5 major causes of workers’ compensation claim rejection in mind.
- You didn’t report the injury immediately
This is crucial. You may feel embarrassed by your accident or like you’re complaining for no reason, but no matter your hesitancy, go and report the injury immediately. If you put it off, that can be used against you to deny you compensation.
- No one saw it happen (or saw the risk)
There’s little you can do about this if it is the case, but you can establish accurate accounts of what happened. As mentioned above, report the injury to your boss. Then, tell your coworkers as well, and show them where and how it happened. If you slipped, get a witness to look at where the puddle is. Take photos as well.
- You didn’t go to a doctor right away
Even if your boss pressures you to stay at work, even if it doesn’t seem like that serious an injury, go to the doctor. If your injury turns out to be serious enough to require worker’s compensation, then you need to be able to prove a link between the accident at work and the injury seen by the doctor. The longer you delay, the easier it is to claim your injury occurred elsewhere.
- The description of the injury doesn’t match up
Make sure to be consistent with your story. That means, relate carefully and precisely exactly what happened, and later relate carefully and precisely all symptoms as well as all diagnoses. If you live something out one time and add it in later, that can be used against you.
- You tested positive for drugs or alcohol
There’s little that can be done about this after the fact, but you should know by now not to drink or use drugs at work. Such activities are at the very least fireable offenses on a good day and can result in criminal proceedings at other times. And, of course, it would also disqualify you from workers’ compensation.
Try to keep these five points clear in your mind before, during, and after an accident, and you’ll have much better chances of getting the compensation you need to get healthy again and back to work.