Always immediately report any work comp injury to your employer. If you do not, the insurance company will likely deny your claim and will certainly investigate the injury with more scrutiny than normal. Many times people tell me they didn’t immediately report a workplace injury because they thought it was just a sprain or a muscle ache. However, some extremely serious injuries, such as herniated, extruding, and protruding discs in your back or neck, don’t initially cause excruciating and radiating pain. For example, you can tear a disc at work and later the inner disc material seeps out of that disc causing nerve root impingement with radiating pain down your arms or legs. I’ve had many clients explain that they woke the following morning after a work injury and couldn’t get out of bed. This is not unusual. Unfortunately, failing to immediately report the injury on the day it occurs raises the suspicion that the injury occurred at home after work, especially if the incident was not witnessed by a co-employee.
I also routinely see employees compound the problem of failing to report the injury by calling in sick the next day, going to their own doctor, and filing under their own health insurance. Most health clinics will refuse to file with your health insurance if you tell them you were hurt at work. In fact, most doctors, surgeons, and therapists flat out refuse to provide medical treatment to injured workers. So many times injured workers don’t tell their doctor the injury occurred at work. This results in a medical record that does not document the work injury and pretty much guarantees the work comp insurance carrier will deny the claim when you report it late.
Arkansas workers have the burden of proving every element of a work injury.
We must prove:
- That the work related injury was caused by a specific work incident, such as lifting a heavy box, twisting awkwardly, repairing a piece of machinery, or falling off of a platform.
- The specific incident occurred while you were advancing your employer’s interests. Immediately reporting the injury to your employer gets us over these two initial hurdles of proof.
- That the injury is legitimate through objective medical evidence.
Insurance adjusters are trained to look for ways to deny your case. It’s their job. Don’t give them a justification to deny your claim. If you have questions about your claim, call or contact me. I am happy to explain the rules and help get you the work comp benefits you deserve. I will make sure that you are not tricked and instead fight to get the best care and compensation for your claim.