Employer Mistakes During the Workers Comp Claims Process
If you’re injured on the job, your employer’s workers compensation policy could be an essential part of your recovery. Nearly every state in the country requires the majority of business owners to have workers compensation policies. This is to ensure that hard working Americans receive financial assistance when an accident occurs.
As an employee, there are many steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your claim is processed without any errors. However, your employer will also have to take a few steps to make sure that your claim goes through — and whether intentionally or unintentionally, some employers fail their employees in this respect. If you’re suspicious that your employer is purposely making any of the mistakes listed below, or if your claim has been denied because your employer made a mistake, contact a workers compensation lawyer immediately.
Mistake 1: Not having a standard procedure for employees to report accidents and injuries.
If an employee is injured on the job and intends to file a workers compensation claim, they’ll first need to report the incident to their employer. This can be fairly straightforward in a small business where everyone works in the same office space, but if employees perform tasks on large work sites (e.g., construction sites) or work remotely, it’s essential to have a standard accident reporting procedure.
Mistake 2: Not allowing an injured worker to seek medical care after an accident.
Employers are required by law to allow an employee to seek medical care if they’ve been injured on the job. Some employers have medical staff available for workers to seek care on site, but if an employer does not provide this, then they must allow an injured worker to seek care elsewhere.
Mistake 3: Not understanding the workers compensation system and not being involved in the claims process.
The workers compensation process is very complicated — there’s no doubt about that. An employer who doesn’t take the time to understand the system is more likely to make mistakes and cause problems for an injured employee.
Mistake 4: Missing deadlines.
This goes beyond making sure that an employee’s paperwork is filed on time after an accident. Employers must be sure that their policy is active and valid. If an employer is required by state law to have a workers compensation policy but fails to have one, and if an employee is injured on the job, then that opens up the possibility for a lawsuit.
Mistake 5: Ignoring the orders that an injured employee’s doctor provided.
Making an injured employee return to work too soon, or requiring them to perform duties beyond what their doctor allowed, is a big mistake. Most employers understand that these actions could result in legal trouble down the road.
As an injured employee, there’s only so much you can do to curb the mistakes that your employer might make in the workers compensation process. If you suspect that your employer is somehow dropping the ball or even purposely not following through with part of the claims process, contact the workers comp lawyers Milwaukee residents rely on as soon as possible.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim for their insight into workers compensation.