Although in many cases the claims process for work-related injuries proceeds fairly smoothly, sometimes, issues arise that can make it difficult for work injury victims to receive workers compensation benefits. By familiarizing themselves with some of the more common problems injured workers face and how to prevent them, victims can improve their chances of obtaining successful claims.
Workers Compensation Claims Denials
There is no guarantee that a workers’ compensation claim will be granted. Many workers with legitimate work-related injuries or illnesses may be wrongfully denied benefits. Claims denials can occur for a variety of reasons.
No Direct Link to the Workplace
Insurance carriers or employers sometimes claim that an injury isn’t directly linked to the workplace. This is usually done in an attempt to minimize the amount of false claims that are filed. In most cases, this type of complication can be cleared up with an in-depth investigation of the accident or exposure.
Failure to Follow Up
Employers and workers alike may fail to follow up on work related injuries. Employers and employees should understand the reporting procedure for accidents and follow through with the process accordingly.
Failure to Report Injuries on Time
Generally, workers should report injuries as soon as possible. In Illinois, workers have 45 days from the time of injury to report it to their employer.
Lack of Medical Treatment
Even if an injury doesn’t appear severe enough to warrant medical treatment, workers should have their injuries checked out by a medical professional. If insurance companies don’t see medical records pertaining to the injury, they will be less likely to view the injury as severe enough to grant a claim.
Lack of Named Witnesses
While not entirely necessary, it helps to secure names of witnesses who saw the accident take place, and can testify in the worker’s favor.
Injured employees should make sure that their story remains consistent in every statement, from details regarding the accident to subsequent injuries, including symptoms that may not appear until after the accident. Even the smallest inconsistencies can result in a denial.
Working with a workers compensation attorney can help avoid many of the common problems that often arise during the workers’ compensation process and can help ensure that injured or ill employees receive all of the benefits to which they’re entitled.