It is important to strengthen your workers’ compensation case to get the full compensation from the employer.
Here are some of the things which you need to follow to make your case strong.
Timely report your injury at work:
In New Jersey a worker who gets injured must report an on-the-job injury within 90 days. Failure to do so can be a complete bar to getting compensation for the injury. Insurance companies deny many cases because of reporting issues. Don’t make your case one of them. Even if you think the injury is minor you should report it to your supervisor. And you should report this as soon as possible. The earlier you report your injury, the better your chances are that you will get workers compensation for your injury. If possible, you should report the injury to your supervisor the day of the injury or within five days of the injury.
Seek Reasonable Medical Attention Soon After an Injury at Work:
If you get an injury while performing duties in New Jersey then you need to prove that you got the injury as a result of an accident at work. Proving this becomes more difficult if you do not seek medical attention soon after the event. Insurance companies will believe that this must be a sign that you did not get injury at work. In short, if you were not hurt badly enough to get treatment, you were not hurt badly enough to get compensation. A second reason to seek medical attention is that accident injuries sometimes arise only after days or weeks. Only a doctor can detect the injuries which might be present under the skin that you may not have been aware of. So, seeking a treatment immediately can help you a lot in making your case strong.
Be Totally Honest with Your Doctor about Medical History and Personal Habits:
The accuracy of your treatment depends on your honesty with your doctor. A doctor will prepare a file based on your injuries and your medical history. Any lack of honesty can lead to weakness in your case in the court. If your doctor bases his diagnosis on false or incomplete information, then your case may reject.
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Talk to Your Doctor About Medical Issues Not Your Case:
You may be curious and ask your doctor about legal aspects of your case; don’t! Reserve these questions for your lawyer. Asking your treating physician legal questions or discussing your employer with him/her only creates negative implications in your medical records and may complicate and negatively impact your case. Remember that what you say in confidence to your doctor is NOT protected information once you have filed a claim in court.
Be On Time and Consistent in Attending Your Medical Appointments:
This is similar to number two. If your medical records reflect a pattern of missing appointments, your commitment to your treatment as well as the severity of your injuries can be called into question. Always give 24 hours notice to reschedule an appointment.
State Your Pain Accurately in Your Medical Records:
Pain is invisible to everyone but you, and must be substantiated in your case by someone other than you. Your medical records need to document your experience of pain due to your injuries, and for this to happen you must tell your doctor about your pain. Keep a daily record or journal of your pain and share it with your doctor so it can be officially documented. Do not exaggerate, but do not downplay either.
Inform Your Doctor of the Effect of Your Injury on Your Work:
In opposite to number 4, is telling your treating physician about your pain and limitations. Just because you know that your work has been affected, doesn’t mean that the insurance company or judge will know it. If they read about it in your medical records, it is suddenly real and substantiated. Share THIS information with your doctor, keeping track of it as you do your pain – in a daily record or journal so you don’t distort (for better or for worse) your experience.
Take Your Medications as Prescribed and Get Maximum Medical Treatment:
This is a problem for patients in workers’ compensation cases and in personal injury cases as well. By stopping your medication early, taking it sporadically, or otherwise not heeding the directions, you compromise your health and your case. Share valid reasons for modifying your medication (side effects, interactions) with your doctor. Insurance companies and judges interpret your termination of treatment as a sign that your injury must be healed. They are also prone to interpret large time gaps between treatments as a sign that the injury at work has healed and the second treatment must be for a new, different, or unrelated injury.
Follow Treatment Recommendations Even When Depression or Anxiety Makes it Difficult:
Pain and/or disability are common causes of depression or anxiety. These conditions are treatable, but only if you share the symptoms with your doctor. Sharing with your doctor is also the only way to substantiate these conditions in your medical record. This is important, as psychological problems from the physical injury at work often figure prominently into workers’ compensation cases.
Track Your Medical Treatment:
It is essential that your lawyer know all of your medical care providers and every procedure that you have undergone after an injury at work. It is equally important to keep track of doctor’s orders, treatments, referrals, and work restrictions. This information is most easily managed by keeping a medical file on your injury. You should place all medical records relating to an on-the-job injury into a file and give them to attorney at Riviere Advocacy Group handing your case.