September 18, 2014
Although Colorado workers’ compensation laws are in place to protect people who are injured at work, the process of filing claims to get compensation is notoriously complicated and challenging. What can make this process even more difficult for some people can be:
- Their unfamiliarity with the system, as many people have filed limited claims in the past (if they’ve ever even filed a workers’ compensation claim at all)
- The nature of their injuries, as some brain and head injuries may complicate a person’s abilities to get through the process.
Given these facts, in this blog series, we will highlight some of the most common workers’ compensation mistakes to avoid when filing a claim to get benefits. By being aware of (and not making) these workers’ compensation mistakes, injured employees can avoid unnecessary delays with their claims and potentially get the benefits they need and deserve as soon as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Mistakes: Here’s What You Should Avoid Doing…
Mistake 1 – Failing to Report an Injury to Your Employer
When an accident caused you to get hurt at work, getting immediate medical attention may be the first priority (especially if you’ve lost consciousness or may have sustained a severe injury). Once your health is stabilized, however, you should report the injury to your employer in writing within 4 days of the date of the injury. In fact, even if you end up sustaining a seemingly minor injury, make sure you file this written report with an employer as soon as possible – and well within the 4-day time limit.
Failing to meet this injury reporting requirement can end up costing you benefits down the line, so don’t make this workers’ compensation mistake because you are simply procrastinating or because you may think a verbal report of your injury suffices.
Mistake 2 – Not Going to an Employer’s Preferred Medical Provider
Once you’ve informed your employer that you’ve been hurt on the job, an employer should provide you with a list of preferred medical providers (i.e., doctors). In order for your medical treatments to be covered by the insurer providing workers’ compensation coverage to your employer, you are required to see one of the specified doctors from the employer’s list.
Here, you should be aware that:
- You can, of course, see whatever doctor you like if you don’t mind paying for this medical care on your own.
- If your employer fails to provide you with a list of preferred medical providers, then you may be at liberty to choose the doctor you see for treatments.
- Even if you end up seeing a doctor specified by your employer, you may also be asked by an insurer to see another doctor for a verification of your condition/your injuries. In these cases, failing to see the insurer’s doctor can also impact your benefits (in that they could be reduced or even denied).
Therefore, to avoid possible reductions to your benefits, make sure you see the appropriate doctors for the diagnosis and treatment of your workplace injuries.
We will resume our discussion of common workers’ compensation mistakes to avoid making when filing these claims in a few upcoming parts of this blog series – be sure to check them out!
Denver Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at the Bisset Law Firm
Have you been injured at work? If so, Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorney Jennifer Bissetwants you to know that she is here to aggressively advocate your rights and help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
Contact Jennifer Bisset by calling (303) 894-8900 to learn more about your rights and receive a professional evaluation of your case.