Getting workers’ compensation is actually easier than most people realize. The reason it seems complicated to some is that they’re usually dealing with insurance companies for the first time. If you are not used to dealing with an insurance company, or any other large corporation, your emotions may get in the way of your judgment during negotiations. This can lead to mistakes on either side of the table which could cost you later down the road.
This is why it is important to educate yourself in this field and understand your legal rights. Therefore here is a quick guide to help with getting workers’ compensation.
Get a lawyer as soon as possible
When dealing with any legal matter, especially one as important as your ability to work and earn a living after an injury, getting a lawyer should be the first thing on your mind. The majority of the experienced workers’ comp attorneys in Charleston, SC offer free consultations, so if you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, this is your best place to start. The reason it is important to have a lawyer as soon as possible is that the more time passes, the less proof you will have of your injuries. Having a good lawyer by your side can also prevent you from making mistakes that can hurt your case. For example, if you are ever questioned by an insurance adjuster it is important not to give any statement that could be used against you later. Your lawyer should always be present for these conversations if possible, or at the very least he/she should be made aware of what you said. There are many other benefits to having a lawyer involved in your case. It’s just a matter of finding one that fits your needs.
Have the right doctor by your side
Having a doctor on your side can be just as important as having a lawyer. Often doctors are called upon by insurance companies to give their opinion of the severity of your condition. This doctor also determines how long you will be unable to work or if at all. Therefore it is important to choose one who specializes in specific types of injuries relevant to your case and has worked with other workers’ compensation cases before. They understand not only what a judge will look for when making a decision but also how an insurance company works in these matters. victims in these types of cases realize they were taken advantage of when it’s too late.
Gather all the evidence you can
This means take pictures of any injuries you suffered, get witness statements if possible, and keep a record of every time you went to the doctor. Keeping logs can be important because it may help prove that you were injured on the job and that the injury is valid. The insurance company will always ask for these records and having them organized (specifically in an easy to read/understand manner such as a spreadsheet) can make it much easier for them. The more evidence you have the better because the insurance company will also try to twist things around and use whatever they can against you if they can. Once again, your lawyer should be aware of everything that is going on with your case.
Do not sign anything
This is probably the most important thing to remember in dealing with the workers’ comp insurance company. They will use every trick in the book to get you to sign off on your rights and settle for a smaller amount than what they owe you. This is why it’s so important not to give any statement without talking to your lawyer, which should be done before you sign any document or give them information. Not only should you not sign anything, but you should also refuse to answer any questions without your lawyer present. The insurance company will ask the doctor to write a report stating how much work you can do and whether or not it is permanent. This doctor does not have all the information about your injury and is not an expert in workers’ compensation.
Learn about the process of your injury claim
It is important to fully understand the workers’ compensation process. Many people only find out what is happening with their case after they have already made several mistakes. Being knowledgeable can not only prevent you from making these same mistakes but can also help you better understand the process and your options. There are many resources to help with properly understanding the workers’ compensation process, which should be done before hiring an attorney. It is important to use these resources while not losing sight of what you want out of your claim both now and in the future.
Understanding the workers’ compensation process and what you should be doing to get the maximum amount for your injury is vital. When it comes down to it, it’s all about what you deserve, and knowing your rights is the best way to ensure you get it. Having the above-mentioned things in mind will help you easily achieve this.