Workers can be hurt on nearly every shift of nearly any job. While some occupations might be at higher risk for workplace injuries, even a low-impact job can impart stress and strain great enough to damage muscle groups, tendons or cartilage. In general, workers are eligible to recover compensation benefits after an injury, but there are numerous obstacles that could make the recovery of these benefits a challenge.
What are some common challenges employees might face when filing a claim for worker’s compensation benefits?
- Missed deadlines: While many employees notify their supervisors immediately following an accident, a significant number of workers will wait as they consider their options. It is not uncommon for a worker to fail to understand the full extent of the injury until much later. Unfortunately, certain time limits exist in many situations. It is wise to alert your employer and file a claim as soon as possible to ensure no deadlines are missed in the process.
- Doctor visit confusion: After an accident, your workplace must provide a list of approved medical facilities within a reasonable distance. You could still visit your primary care physician, but the workers’ compensation benefits generally will not cover the cost. It is wise to be honest regarding the full extent of your injuries and follow the doctor’s treatment plan exactly as directed.
- Fear of retaliation: Many workers are unsure of their footing if they report an on-the-job injury. They might worry about the assigning of blame and acts of retaliation including termination, a reduction in hours, transfer to a less favorable department or shift, or a negative performance evaluation. Numerous legal protections exist to shield workers from these types of reprisals after a work injury.
It is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation benefits attorney who can answer your questions from start to finish in the process.