In the area of work injury law, common mistakes limit many clients’ ability to collect their rightful compensation. We’ve compiled a list of 13 common pitfalls that challenge our ability, as workers compensation lawyers, to win cases for clients with legitimate claims.
Common Pitfalls when Dealing with the Doctor:
- Do not disregard your doctor’s advice regarding your injury. Keep your appointments. Take the recommended medications. Follow the prescribed recovery regimens. You may think that drawing out your injury will prove how bad it really is. In fact, the opposite is true. If you disregard your doctor’s advice, this may be used as evidence against you. It may give the appearance that you are abusing the system or dragging your feet.
- Do not discuss your case with your doctor unless you have been specifically advised by your lawyer to do so. Discussing your case with your doctor may give the court the impression that you were trying to influence your doctor and play the system.
- Do not hide anything from your doctor. Be absolutely honest. If your doctor doesn’t have any record of your injury, limitations, or symptoms, then it may appear that the injury didn’t exist in the first place.
- Do not hide previous conditions which may or may not be related to the current work injury claim. Failure to disclose your full health condition may result in invalidating your case.
- Do not let your health insurance lapse. Allowing your health insurance to run out will signal the opposing legal team that you are not meeting a minimum standard of care regarding your own health needs. Winning your case, including a cash pay-out, is not a replacement for regular and ongoing health insurance.
Common Pitfalls when Dealing with your Legal Team:
- Don’t go dark regarding your health. As professionals, we appreciate your desire not to clutter the communication lines of a professional legal firm. However, in a work injury case, more information is better than too little. Keep us updated with your medical diagnosis and treatments. Inform us of the names of your doctors, especially if you are referred to anyone we don’t already have on record. Contact us immediately if you have any significant changes in your health. Failure to transmit this important information will hurt our ability to win your case.
- Don’t go dark regarding your personal details. Let us know if there are changes in any of the personal details we collected from you at the time of the initial consultation: your residence, phone number, email, and especially your employer and health insurance. Failure to communicate this basic information may result in costly delays and miscommunication, as well as provide the opposing side with evidence that you are unreliable and disorganized.
- Don’t go dark regarding your availability. If you are going out of town for more than three days, please let us know. If we attempt to contact you but don’t hear anything in return for an extended amount of time, we will assume that you have lost interest in the case.
Common Pitfalls when Dealing with your Employer:
- Do report your claim to your employer as soon as possible. Failure to report an injury to your employer may make your claim invalid.
- Do not sign anything without our approval. If you are pressured, remain calm and firm. “I will not be signing anything until my lawyer has a look.”
Common Pitfalls when Dealing with Friends and Family:
- Do not post information or images about your claim on social media or personal websites and blogs. Your situation and injury are under ongoing investigation, and the things you post publicly may be used as evidence to harm your credibility or cast doubt on the seriousness of the injury.
Common Pitfalls when Dealing with Paperwork and Record-keeping:
- Don’t lose track of important papers. We need a copy of every receipt which involves your injury, including payments for medical visits, transportation to medical services, physical therapy, etc. Some clients take a photo of any receipt that might be applicable to the claim and immediately email the photo to their law firm.
- Don’t estimate the dates you have missed work because of your work-related injury. We need hard facts, not estimations, to show how much income you have lost because of your work injury.
Avoiding these common pitfalls will help you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered a work-related injury, we suggest that you contact an accident attorney near you to determine your rights and possible compensation. At Tingey Injury Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience in work injury law, which can be a complex and constantly-changing field. We are happy to help you navigate the laws and processes so that you can focus on healing and move ahead positively without the baggage from your work injury.