Getting injured on the job can be an extremely traumatic and stressful experience. Not only will you need time to heal and recover from your injuries, but you must also deal with losing valuable income at a time when you need it the most. In Rhode Island, the state’s workers’ compensation system helps ensure that injured workers are able to receive monetary assistance during this challenging time to compensate for medical expenses and at least a portion of lost wages.
However, the workers’ compensation claims process can be intimidating and confusing. There is always the risk of making mistakes during the process, which could potentially jeopardize your claim. Workers realize all too late that their missteps during the workers’ comp process could lead to their claim being denied or resulting in less compensation than they deserve.
Common Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Claim
Here are some of the most common mistakes that could and should be avoided during the workers’ compensation process:
Failing to report your injury. If you have been injured on the job, you may be wondering when you should report the incident and injury. You should report your injury to your employer and/or supervisor right away. It is also important that you do so in writing so you have a record of it. Under Rhode Island law, you have 30 days to report a work-related injury to your employer.
However, our Rhode Island work injury lawyers would strongly recommend that you report the incident and your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer is then required by law to file a declaration form with the Rhode Island Division of Workers’ Compensation. Failing to report your injury right away will unnecessarily delay your claim process. If you fail to report your injury within the required deadline, you may not be able to receive the compensation you need.
Not getting prompt medical care. If you don’t seek prompt medical treatment and care for your injuries or if you fail to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, you could put your workers’ compensation claim in jeopardy. The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to help injured workers pay their medical bills and make up for lost wages at a time when they are unable to work.
Failing to seek medical care may be viewed negatively and give the impression that you did not suffer injuries that were serious enough to warrant time off work. Seeking prompt medical attention will not only give you an opportunity to recover faster from your injuries but will also create a clear record of the types of injuries you suffered and the treatment you sought and received.
Failing to maintain proper records. If you have suffered injuries on the job, it is crucial that you keep detailed and accurate records. Make sure you keep track of the number of hours or workdays you missed because of your injury. It is also important that you save all receipts, invoices and paperwork that document your medical treatment. Such meticulous documentation is key to making sure that you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Trusting your employer and the insurance company. Regardless of your time of service or your value as an employee, it is important to understand that when you are injured on the job and file a claim, your employer and their insurance company will not think about your best interest first. Your employer’s insurance company – like all insurance companies – wants to pay as little as possible for the claim. Trusting your employer and their insurance company to do the right thing could turn into a grave mistake.
Trying to handle your claim on your own. You don’t need an attorney in order to pursue workers’ compensation and on paper, you can do it alone. But, trying to accomplish such a complicated task on your own during an already stressful time can be a bad idea. Having an experienced Rhode Island workers’ compensation lawyer on your side who will help gather evidence and compile the necessary facts to prove your case is critical at this time.
Rhode Island Workers’ Comp Lawyers
At d’Oliveira & Associates, our Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Lawyers understand the complexities of the process and the effort it takes to be successful with your claim. We can also help you through the appeals process if the need arises. Most importantly, we will guide you through the claim process and help you avoid the pitfalls that could put valuable compensation in danger. Call our firm at 1-800-992-6878 or fill our an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.