If you got injured at work, your mind would be flooded with many questions.
What should you do next? What will happen to your family, especially if you are the sole breadwinner? Who will pay your bills? How serious are the injuries and will you have to be admitted to the hospital? And possibly the most important question….Will you get workers’ compensation?
These questions are valid, and almost every one of them leads to the last question and whether or not you get workers’ compensation. Logically you should be eligible for workers’ compensation, but there are certain actions you could do without realizing that it can potentially ruin your chance for compensation.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you get injured at work is not to panic. Panic often fogs your mind, and it is possible that something that might seem harmless at the moment could affect your workers’ compensation benefits.
So if you or someone you know is injured at work here are six things you should avoid doing:
- Delay in reporting the injury: Pennsylvania law requires you to report the injury within 21 days of the incident occurrence. If you’ve allowed 120 days to pass and still have not reported, anything then you risk forfeiting you workers’ compensation benefits.
In New Jersey, the time you get to report an injury at work is 14 days from the day you have been injured. Timely reporting is the key to getting benefits through workers’ compensation. If you are unsure if your injury qualifies or any other doubts regarding workers’ compensation, then you must consult a work injury lawyer immediately.
- Give anything in writing or recorded a sworn statement: Your employer may ask you to give a recorded or written statement after you report any injury.
You should avoid doing anything of this sort, as this could be used against you by your employer in a court of law. If you’re in doubt, a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer could be very helpful.
- Pretend that you haven’t got injured: Pretending that you have not got injured will only worsen your injury and might even make you incapable of working. It can also impact your compensation benefits.
Legally an employer cannot intimidate you and make you retract your claim. Also, the workers’ compensation fund of an employer is separate from their financial assets, so it doesn’t affect their finances in any way.
- Sign any document: Your employer or his agents might ask you to sign documents which look like a settlement or release.
Signing on the dotted line without knowing the legal implications or without prior consultation with your lawyer could hurt what you stand to gain financially as a part of workers’ compensation. Signing a settlement or a release might not keep your best interest first.
- Publish anything about your injury on social media: We all have the habit of opening up our lives and sharing the day-to-day happenings on social media.
Your employer’s’ insurance firm could scrutinize your social media posts. They also might look through your posts for information that could be used against you. If they do find anything substantial, it could jeopardize your compensation claim.
- Forget to document: Make sure you keep all records of doctor visits, hospital bills, and medical records. These will serve as evidence and will also be used to determine compensation that needs to be granted to you.
If you forget to document or preserve an injury related expense, it will be difficult for you to make your case for those expenses. Make sure you ask your workers’ compensation attorney on the types of documentation that are permissible.
To ensure the success of your case, contact Goldberg & Wolf today at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation!