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If you sustain a workplace injury in California, you would typically be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits to help with medical bills and lost wages. However, these claims can be challenging, particularly when the insurance carrier or employer questions how the injury occurred or the severity of the injury. Here, we want to review some of these steps you should not take after sustaining a workplace injury and starting workers’ compensation.
One major mistake individuals make after sustaining a workplace injury is discontinuing medical treatment when they start to feel better. Honestly, it’s understandable not to want to keep going back and forth to a doctor or continuing uncomfortable medical treatments.
However, discontinuing medical care against a physician’s advice could lead to an early termination of workers’ compensation benefits. We strongly encourage any work injury victim to continue medical care until their doctor says they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point where any additional medical treatment is unlikely to improve the person’s condition further.
It is crucial for work injury victims to be forthcoming with their doctor about all signs and symptoms of injury they are going through, even if the victim thinks they are unrelated to the actual workplace injury. If a doctor asks if there is anything else, do not be shy and say “No” if there really is something else.
Sometimes, even signs or symptoms of pain or injury that seem unrelated to an initial incident are actually related. Our bodies are complex, and a medical professional can examine all of the signs and symptoms and help determine what is caused by the work injury so that victims can recover compensation.
It would be a mistake to post about a workplace injury or illness and the recovery process on social media. Additionally, we strongly encourage work injury victims to refrain from posting much on social media at all. Anything individuals post online could eventually be seen by an insurance carrier or an employer. This information could become evidence to delay or deny a work injury claim. For example, even something as innocent as a post about a work injury victim taking their kids to football practice could be enough to jeopardize a claim, particularly if a person has an injury that prevents them from being very mobile.
We encourage individuals not to quit their jobs while they are recovering workers’ compensation benefits. Individuals may feel tempted to leave their job and look for another one fairly soon after the incident, but remember, workers’ compensation is designed to cover medical bills and a majority of lost wages caused by an injury. Quitting could negatively impact the overall workers’ compensation claim.
If individuals feel that they need to step back even more from their position as a result of the injury, we encourage victims to talk to their doctor about the need for a reduced workload. Work injury victims may be able to recover compensation to help cover the gap between the previous wage level and the new wage level.
Some work injury claims can be complex, which is why it is crucial to contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in San Bernardino as soon as possible. Not working with an attorney could jeopardize the overall claim, particularly if an employer or insurance carrier pushes back and delays or denies the claim.