Did you hurt your back at work and have to go to the hospital? You may be worried about how you are going to pay your bills while you are out of work. However, because your injury happened at work, your employer should take care of your medical bills and compensate you while you recover. If you are thinking about filing a worker’s compensation claim, here are 5 things to consider.
1. Don’t Wait to File Your Claim
The sooner you file your claim, the better your outcome. In fact, an experienced worker's compensation attorney will visit you in your hospital room if needed to make sure that you get your claim filed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to file your claim, the higher the chance the employer will try to argue that your back injury or back pain didn't happen at work.
2. Get Your Own Doctor’s Opinion
Many people suffer from back pain, and back injuries can happen in car accidents or at home. You need to get your doctor's immediate evaluation as this is the best way to prove that your back pain is work-related.
If your employer has you visit their doctor and he or she dismisses your back pain as being degenerative or age-related, consider getting a second opinion from your own doctor to provide medical evidence for your claim.
3. Assume That You Are Being Watched
Worker's compensation claims can be costly to employers. That's why employers often hire private investigators. Be mindful of this and avoid doing anything to hurt yourself further, like picking up heavy objects or doing any work on the side.
If you are unable to work for the employer, don't do any odd jobs at home either. Avoid doing any manual labor or going to any theme parks, going hunting or doing any other activity that could be negatively construed against you. If the employer gains any pictures of you performing any activity that a person with back pain shouldn't be doing, you may have your claim denied or reversed.
4. Persevere for Compensation
Back injuries are common, and many people have won compensation for them. Seventy-four percent of those with work-related back injuries do receive compensation via settlement or after an appeal.
Therefore, if you injure your back while on the job, you have a good chance of winning your claim if you get help from an attorney with a solid background and thorough knowledge of worker's compensation claims.
5. Hire an Experienced Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
Proving a back injury claim can be difficult, as the insurance companies typically don't want to pay out. They may initially deny your claim and try to blame your work-related injury on a pre-existing illness or accident that happened outside of work.
Filing an appeal through the proper channels can require the help of an experienced worker's compensation lawyer. Your lawyer can file the appropriate forms, go to the hearings and follow the correct rules for evidence gathering to help prove your claim.
Work-related back injuries can potentially devastate a family's finances, if the employee doesn't seek worker's compensation. The moment you got injured your employer consulted their attorney. You deserve to have legal representation as well.
If you lifted a heavy object and got hurt while performing your job at work, contact the Law Offices of Goldberg & Ibarra to help you prove that your back injury is work-related. We'll help you file your claim as soon as possible and gather the evidence you need to provide the best possible outcome so that you don’t need to worry about finances while you recover from your injury.