Making sure your claim is approved

Oct 02

I’ve had my share of potential injury scenarios at work over the course of my career. When I worked at Walmart in my teens, I slipped on a freshly mopped floor and hit my head. A few years later, I barely missed getting in an accident while delivering for a local sandwich shop. Even in offices I’ve had issues. I came close to electrocuting myself once when I reached behind a computer and spilled my drink all over the socket while I was messing around back there.

In all those situations, I’ve been fine, but I’m aware that I’m lucky in that sense. Some people aren’t, so I want to make it easier to make sure they are covered by workman’s compensation when they need to make a claim.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a very honest society, and people will try to deny claims just to save some money. Here’s what you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen.

First, report any issue immediately, report it in writing, and make copies. You want to establish a history to your claim if it comes down to it. If you hurt yourself but you don’t think it’s serious, report it anyway. If you come in the next day feeling worse, report that in writing as well. You want to be able to prove definitively that your injury happened at work and that your work should have to pay.

Second, and related, try to find documentation to prove your accident happened not just at work but due to your work responsibilities. Also, try to show that it was in no way due to any preexisting conditions. These are crucial points in making sure your claim is approved.

Third, go to a doctor within your employer’s network. While you might feel most comfortable with your doctor, if that doctor isn’t covered by your employer’s insurance, you may find your claim denied, even if it would otherwise have been approved. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the first doctor your employer recommends. Instead, get a list of doctors and decide on one you feel comfortable speaking to.

Finally, get comfortable with the idea that you may have to speak to a lawyer if your claim is denied. If there are serious consequences to your injury and your employer doesn’t want to pay, that’s probably because the ball is very much in his or her court on this issue. It will be on you to prove you deserve compensation.

There are sure to be lawyers in your hometown. Here in Indianapolis, I’ve heard good things about these guys. Find a lawyer who has good recommendations, and contact them if you are having issues with this.

To summarize, record everything, use the right doctors, and keep a lawyer in mind as a last case option.

If you follow these tips, you won’t have to worry about whether that bump you got walking through Walmart or that shock at the office is covered. You will be.

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