According to a recent survey, roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means that fewer than one in four Americans have enough money to pay their expenses or cushion the blow of a job loss. If a work-related injury causes disability it is always hoped that compensation payments will be forthcoming in a timely manner. However, if an employer or a workers compensation insurance carrier challenges your right to receive workers compensation this could lead to economic devastation.
If you were to find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to fight your way through the litigation process in order to win workers’ compensation benefits, there are certain things that you can do to increase your chances of success. Here are 5 tips to help increase the chances that you will win workers compensation benefits.
1. Keep a diary. Your diary should consist of key dates, such as the date of injury, the date you notified your employer of your injury, the date you filled out an accident report, medical appointments, surgeries, therapy sessions, and absences from work.
2. Stay off of social media. Anything that you put out on the internet can and will be used against you in a court of law. If you have suffered from a work-related injury and you are missing work, it is recommended that you discontinue all social media contact. Also do not allow anyone to take pictures of you which could ultimately be posted on someone’s website.
3. Document all phone calls. If you speak to anyone (your employer, a doctor’s office, an insurance adjuster), you should document the date, the time and the name of person you spoke with. Also the subject matter of the conversation is very important. Insurance companies and doctor’s offices document all of their phone calls. You should do the same. If you do not then you will not be able to recall with precision the subject matter of a discussion that you had. Just what happened during a particular phone conversation might be critical in a case. A clear, concise recitation of your version of a conversation could be the difference between winning and losing.
4. Be careful what you say to an insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters document all conversations. Consequently, if you make an innocent comment about something, that will go into their record. Also conversations are sometimes recorded. While a recorded conversation can actually protect all parties, you should never agree to a recorded conversation without seeking legal advice.
5. Get legal advice. The best thing that you can do to increase the chances you will win workers compensation benefits is to get advice from a competent workers compensation attorney before your case gets into litigation. Most attorneys who handle workers compensation cases provide for a free initial consultation. It is better to know what your rights and responsibilities are before you get into trouble.
Workers compensation litigation is no laughing matter. No one wants to fight for benefits that they believe they deserve. However, the truth of the matter is that claims are sometimes denied and the need to litigate your entitlement will occur. By doing these 5 things you will enhance the chances that you will win workers compensation benefits in your case.