Mistakes Made in Workers’ Compensation Cases in Fayetteville are more common than you think, and they can destroy your case. In a worker’s compensation case, any employee who has been injured at work has an entitlement to benefits that cover medical expenses, wage loss, impairment, property, and other damages. Whether it is negligence on part of the employee or employer, the injured employee is eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
Some Mistakes Made in Workers’ Compensation Cases in Fayetteville:
1. Not Reporting Your Injury:
The first thing to do after being injured at your workplace is to report the injury to your employer. If they have policies, forms, or any specifications for reporting workplace injuries, make sure you follow the guidelines. In case there are no policies in place for such incidents, make sure you inform your supervisor, HR department, and colleagues. This way everyone will be aware of your injury, and it will not be considered as a false claim later on.
2. Not Having a Full or Precise Healthcare Report:
Your claim will be evaluated based on your medical records, which are needed to prove your injury. Complaints of pain are not enough to prove your claim in Arkansas. It is important that your medical records contain complete details of your injuries caused by the accident. Arkansas requires that you prove your injury based upon objective medical evidence, and this is usually accomplished with x-rays or MRIs.
Additionally, muscle spasms palpated and documented by a medical provider is considered an objective finding. It is also important to provide a good history of the incident and your injuries. The nurse or doctor will write the history based on what you tell them. Thus, you must make sure you let them know each detail. In case of a dispute, the insurance company, the defense attorney, and the judge will refer to your medical records. If there are ambiguities or inconsistencies in the records and reports, your case could be lost.
3. Failing to File a Claim Form:
Every worker’s compensation claim begins by filing Form N or Form C. Your employer will ask you to complete a Form N, which is a notice of injury. This requires you to provide the incident and injury details, as well as the names of witnesses. Form C is a claim for compensation, and Form C identifies your attorney. Your attorney will file Form C with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation in Little Rock. Injuries that occur in Northwest Arkansas are tried to Administrative Law Judges in the Springdale, Arkansas office.
4. Not Following Your Doctor’s Advice:
The purpose of worker’s compensation is to assist injured employees in recovering to their fullest potential and returning to the workforce as quickly as possible. The injured employee is entitled to weekly wage benefits if the doctor places work restrictions on them that the employer is unable to accommodate. Injured workers must follow the suggestions of their authorized doctor for their treatment and therapy, and injured workers must attend each scheduled physician appointment. Failing to do so will jeopardize future benefits, as well as the employee’s recovery and employment status.
5. Not Sure of When to Return to Work:
Your employer’s insurer will most likely attempt to bring you back to work within your doctor’s restrictions. They will ask the employer to find some work for you to do even if it is not the job in which you were injured. If you refuse this work, then the employer and the insurance company can refuse to pay wage benefits. Some employers will view this as a voluntary resignation and refuse to pay wages for the rest of the claim. If your doctor approves of the new job description, you must attempt the job. However, if the doctor advises against it, make sure you have that in writing.
6. Not Getting a Second Opinion:
After a work injury incident, the injured worker has to see a doctor that is chosen by the employer’s insurance carrier. It can be possible that the employer’s doctor may advise the employee to return to work before the employee feels they have properly recovered. The employee has a legal right to request a change of physician to a physician of their choice.
This request must be made in writing to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission and must be approved. An employee is not entitled to reimbursement if the employee undergoes unauthorized medical treatment. Getting a change of physician is an important and valuable right that injured workers have. You are only entitled to one change of physician, so it is very important to pick the right specialist to help you.
7. Settling for an Incorrect Disability Rating:
When the doctor decides that you have recovered to the fullest, they usually assign a permanent partial disability rating for you. The rating affects the final worker’s compensation settlement amount. If you cannot return to the previous work and cannot earn the same amount of money you used to make based upon the permanent restrictions assigned by your doctor, you may be eligible for extra permanent impairment from an administrative law judge. This is called wage-loss disability, but it is not available for all injuries. The most common injuries that allow extra impairment are shoulder, neck, and low back injuries.
8. Settling on Your Compensation Without Having a Job:
If the injured worker cannot return to their job, you can request the employer or insurer provide you with vocational rehabilitation. There are certain limitations to what types of retraining you can receive depending on the cost and your permanent restrictions. In most cases, the employee chooses to settle their claim instead of pursuing vocational retraining since the insurance carrier is not required to provide wages while the employee is retraining.
9. Failing to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney:
Attorneys are well experienced in handling such cases and the system. They can tackle difficult situations that may badly affect your case. Consulting an attorney will help you realize all the options, shortcuts, or ways of going about the worker’s compensation case. Your employer’s insurance company will try its best to reduce your deserved benefits or deny them altogether.
Contact us for a free consultation and let us help fight for the compensation you deserve. Make sure when filing your case, you avoid the common Mistakes Made in Workers’ Compensation Cases in Fayetteville, to get the best outcome.