These 3 Common Mistakes Can Threaten Your Worker's Compensation Claim

On-the-job injuries can be devastating to you personally as well as financially. Not only are you likely to miss out on work – and maybe even be unable to return to your previous position – but there's a good chance that you'll also rack up substantial medical bills. Worker's compensation eases the sting of your work-related injury by helping protect your financial well-being as you heal, but it's important to know your rights and responsibilities related to such compensation. These three common mistakes may impact your ability to receive partial wages or disability coverage related to your injury.

Lack of compliance with treatment recommendations

One of the primary responsibilities of worker's compensation recipients is to seek appropriate medical treatment, but then to also follow the advice of qualified healthcare professionals. In follow-up visits, your doctor will check in to ensure you understand and follow your treatment plan. Failure to do so may impact your benefits. If there is a problem with medications or other aspects of the plan, it's critical that you notify your doctor as soon as possible in order to discuss more effective treatment.

Failure to file reports and updates from your doctor

Many workplace injuries aren't permanent, and it's accepted that you may be able to return to work before you're healed, but in a diminished capacity, that often involves reduced pay. It's equally possible to return to work initially, but then have to reduce your workload if the injury doesn't improve or gets worse. At each step in the recovery process, there are reporting responsibilities that help compensation benefits keep pace with your needs. The lack of proper progress reports and updates from all involved healthcare professionals could jeopardize your payments.

Not taking action against culpable parties

Injuries that involve an at-fault party – for example, a manufacturer of faulty safety equipment – often include valid grievances that you can take to court. Depending on the merits of your case, you may be able to receive much better compensation directly from the responsible party than you'd be eligible for through worker's compensation. While a lawsuit may not be required, it could be instrumental in getting your life back on track.

Read all of the information related to worker's compensation in your state, and make sure you understand what to expect from your claim. It's generally easy to navigate minor claims for non-disabling injuries that result in little or no missed work by yourself. For more significant injury, you may need a worker's compensation attorney to help navigate this often-complex process and get the benefits to which you are entitled.