Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in which workers trade their ability to file a lawsuit against their employer after an on-the-job injury in exchange for compensation for lost wages and medical bills, even if the worker contributed to the accident. The system is not perfect by any means, but it can be a huge boon to an injured worker when they rack up hospital bills or are unable to return to their job because of a work-related accident.
It is, therefore, very important that an injured worker take certain steps to ensure that they receive the appropriate benefits. The following considers some common mistakes that injured employees make after a workplace injury:
1. Failing to Report the Injury to their Employer
It is imperative to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible after the workplace accident occurs. Failing to report the injury immediately, or as soon as is reasonably possible, compromises your claim, which may result in the claim being delayed or ultimately denied.
2. Failing to Get Medical Attention
Obtaining medical treatment immediately after your injury occurs, provides the documented evidence necessary to show that you are actually injured and that your injury is related to your workplace accident. If you are injured and need emergency care, you have the right to seek it. If required care is non-emergency in nature, then inform your employer of the injury and ask your employer if there is a designated medical provider from whom you should seek care.
In addition to getting medical attention, always follow your doctor’s orders as prescribed.
3. Failing to File an Official Claim
It is not enough to make sure that your employer is informed of your injury and that you seek medical care – you also need to file an official claim as soon as possible. Your employer should have already filed a First Report of Injury Form on your behalf, but you will need to file a Written Notice of Claim, 30C Form. These forms are not the same.
In Connecticut, you only have one year from the date of your injury to file a 30C Form, or three years from the first appearance of a symptom an occupational disease. If you do not file your Written Notice of Claim within this time frame, you risk being denied workers’ compensation benefits.
4. Failing to Appeal a Denied Claim
If your employer disputes or denies your claim, you have the right to request an informal hearing. During this hearing, you can produce evidence to support the occurrence of your accident and the extent of your injuries. Note that you have the right to retain an attorney at any step throughout the process, and doing so is often within your best interest. Do not rely on the system working in your favor. Your employer will hire an attorney to contest your claim, so you should have one to fight for your right to benefits.
5. Failing to Call an Experienced New Britain Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A big mistake that many injured workers make is failing to contact an aggressive New Britain workers’ compensation attorney when there is a dispute during the claim’s process. An employer may not be willing to approve a claim out of fear that their premiums will go up, and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider may deny a claim to save money. If you are having difficulty getting the compensation you deserve, reach out to the team at The Uptown Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today. Call us at (860) 900-0900.