Life is dangerous. Even in the most mundane locations, an accident could happen at any time. Since about 66% of drivers report driving distracted through parking lots, even your next trip to the grocery store could cause you significant harm.
And yet, for many people, their day to day work life comes with a plethora of associated risks. Power line electricians commonly deal with voltages rated at 400,000 to 750,000 volts, and the logging industry alone endured 900 on-the-job injuries in 2016.
With so many ways to get injured in nearly any industry, getting up and going to work might be the most dangerous thing you do every day. As such, it’s important to know how to navigate worker compensation, should an unfortunate situation arise.
Whether you’ve just been in an accident, or wondering how you’ll handle finances if an accident occurs, read on. Here are three mistakes to avoid when dealing with workers’ compensation policies and procedures.
1. Filing Too Late
If you become injured on the job, it is absolutely essential that you file the claim reasonably quickly. As soon as your injuries allow, consider seeking advice from an attorney to start the filing process. Be sure to check what time limitations apply to your region; 74% of states require all workers to have workers’ compensation coverage, and each of these states have slightly different time frames for filing a claim. One state might have a 45-day window, while other states may only offer a month. If you miss this deadline, your claim could be compromised, so act swiftly to ensure your financial stability as you recover.
2. Not Seeking a Second Opinion
Many policies require those seeking workers’ compensation coverage to visit a physician chosen by the the employer. While this physician will have a diagnosis and treatment recommendations, consider seeking a second opinion from your personal doctor. After all, you probably know and trust your family doctor, whereas the employer’s doctor might not know you as well. If something goes awry with your claim, it will also strengthen your case if you have another doctor’s opinion to show the court.
3. Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders
In any scenario, following a doctor’s advice is obviously the best way to recover quickly. However, when workers’ compensation is involved, not following the doctor’s orders can compromise your coverage. Workers’ comp benefits are designed to help injured employees heal without losing their career or financial stability. If it seems that you are preventing your own recovery, the workers’ comp benefits may be denied or discontinued. Unless your attorney advises you otherwise, don’t miss your appointments or medications.
Our country runs on the hard work of millions of Americans in not-so-safe occupations. Police officers, truck drivers, construction workers, farmers, and more deal with dangers every day to keep the economy running smoothly. In fact, thanks to America’s factory workers, the country was able to produce $5.3 trillion worth of goods in 2016.
Workers compensation ensures all that work doesn’t go unrecognized. If you get injured on the job, make sure you get what you deserve. By avoiding these three mistakes, you’ll be able to protect your career and your wages, to let you heal with greater peace of mind.