#1 Not Notifying Your Employer of the Accident
After you have been injured at work, it can be intimidating to approach your employer, but reporting your accident as soon as possible is essential.
The more severe the injury, the more likely your employer will have already heard about the incident from other workers or witnesses, but even if your employer is aware of your injuries, it is essential that you personally report the incident. You have 30 days to provide written notice — filing a form 18 with the NCIC will provide that notice and preserve your claim. Even if you don’t think your injury is severe enough, it is best to timely file a claim.
#2 Not Seeking Medical Attention Immediately
If you are hurt, it is important that you request medical attention. Once you have been seen by a medical professional, getting serious about staying on top of treating your injuries is crucial. Don’t skip any of your appointments and follow all of your doctor's advice, within reason. If your employer does not direct you to see a medical clinic, you should seek treatment on your own as soon as possible.
#3 Not Documenting Details of the Accident
If you have ever walked into a room to get something and then forgotten what you needed once you were there, then you are well aware of how easily details can be forgotten. After you’ve been in an accident, take note of every detail you can remember. Write down information like what objects you were lifting or what machinery you were using when the incident occurred. Think about who was around you that could serve as a witness, take down their names and contact information. Details about what you were doing before and after the accident could also be important for your case. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to remember specific details.
#4 Not Finding an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Just like when you make any other important purchase, you will need to do ample research to find the right workers’ compensation lawyer for you. It is important that you look for an experienced and professional board-certified workers’ compensation specialist. Find a lawyer who is willing to provide a free consultation to discuss your case and avoid working with an attorney who is not willing to listen to you as you discuss your case. It is best to find someone with whom you are comfortable talking and with whom you can be open and honest.
It is important that you speak with a lawyer before providing a written or recorded statement to the insurance company. A board-certified specialist will be able to discuss your case to help you provide a more clear and accurate statement that will support your case.
#5 Not Providing Your Lawyer With all of the Accident Details
Hiding information from your lawyer is NEVER a good idea. It is critical that you provide your attorney with all of the details about the accident. Make sure to include basic information like:
The date, time and location of the incident
If you have had any prior medical conditions or injuries in the past
Names of co-workers who could have information to share about the incident
Not providing your lawyer with enough detail could be detrimental to the success of your case. Without sufficient information, your attorney will not be able to give you an accurate assessment of the strength of your case and will not know how to properly guide you toward a successful resolution of your claim.