Day in, day out, the public safety members of our community dedicate their talent, time and skills. If you work at a police or fire department, you know that the chance of an accident is higher than normal.
Your job can be dangerous, whether you are directing traffic on a busy intersection, fighting an apartment fire or responding to another emergency. Injuries happen, and the affects can be long-lasting.
You deserve complete benefits after a work injury. But many people make mistakes when it comes to workers' compensation claims. Being mindful of these mishaps could help you receive fair compensation. Common mistakes include:
- Improper accident reports. The first and most important step to filing a claim is doing it correctly. You will want to do your research immediately following your injury. You can either read through your employer's accident policy or contact human resources. Most departments have a certain protocol for accident reports, so it is important to follow the process closely. A major mistake an employee can make is not notifying their employer in a timely matter. Because of this, they could refuse your claim.
- Inaccurate history. Your medical provider will require thorough reports of your present physical condition and history. Incomplete or inconsistent medical records can make or break your benefits. For example, skipping medical appointments or avoiding the doctor is harmful to your case. If you go to trial, medical documentation is powerful evidence, so you want it to be correct. Insurance companies will investigate your claim and speak with witnesses. Let your colleagues know about your accident and where you hurt as well.
- Failure to notify. In California, you should file a workers' compensation case at your earliest convenience. A disastrous mistake injured individuals make is waiting too long to file. The time limit of each case is different. While employers typically require a claim within 24 hours, the appeals board has their own statutes of limitations. Your compensation claim can be barred after a certain time period.
- Accepting insufficient benefits. Insurance companies often grant impairment benefits and stop at that. Many people don't realize they can go beyond maximum medical improvement. If you suffer from a permanent disability, you may be entitled to more. The state of California takes into account various factors of disability when determining settlements.
A work injury is no small matter. It not only affects your current standing at your job, but also introduces physical, emotional and financial suffering. You work hard to take care of people, and there comes a point when you need to be taken care of instead. Workers' compensation opens the door to a variety of benefits needed for recovery.