7 Ways to Increase Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Whether you’re in Birmingham, Montgomery, or Tuscaloosa. Alabama workers' compensation laws exist to protect workers who have been injured on the job, and they make the emotional and financial burdens of an injury easier to manage. However, the process of claiming workman's comp in AL can be difficult and time-consuming.
Alabama workers' compensation is there for you. However, the workers' compensation insurance company will be looking for ways to reduce the value of your claim.
Even with professional guidance from our experts at Spellen Law, it's crucial that you do everything you can to make sure your worker's compensation claim goes smoothly. These tips will help make sure that your claim is successful and will help you get the most out of your claim.
1. Let Your Employer Know You Were Injured
As soon as you realize you are injured on the job, you should make sure your supervisor knows the problem. They will likely have to file an injury report, and the soon you have your injury documented, the better your claim looks.
Don’t wait to see if you feel better later in your shift, and don’t try to tough out a shift and let your supervisor know at the end of your day.
2. Seek Medical Care Immediately
You should also seek medical care as soon as possible. If your supervisor wants to call you an ambulance, let them. If you have a company nurse or other on-site care provider, see them immediately.
If an ambulance or on-site provider isn’t an option, talk to your supervisor about getting a ride to the doctor.
It’s understandable to want to wait a day or two to see if you feel better before seeing a doctor. However, when it comes to workplace injuries, it's better not to wait. The longer you wait before seeking care, the more likely the insurance company will use that time to reduce your claim value.
3. Be Specific
You'll be asked to describe the injury several times. Expect your doctor to ask, and later your lawyer and the insurance company will also ask how you were injured and explain the nature of the injury.
Try to be as specific as possible with those injury reports. If you were lifting a box and hurt something in your back or shoulder, describe the time, the weight and shape of the box (if possible), and what it felt like you first realized you were injured.
You should also describe ongoing pain. Don’t try to minimize your discomfort. Minimizing can mean that you don’t get adequate care from your doctor and makes it easier for the insurance company to lower the value on your Alabama workers’ compensation claim.
4. File Your Claim as Soon as Possible
It’s understandable if there is a slight delay between your injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim, but it is important that you file as soon as possible.
Alabama workers' compensation laws give you up to two years to file a claim, but waiting that long can make your case seem less urgent and worthy of compensation than a case filed immediately after the injury.
5. When Not to Provide a Recorded Statement
Early in your Al. workers’ compensation claim, you’re likely to receive a call from the workers’ comp insurance company with a representative asking for a statement. They are likely to tell you that the statement will be recorded.
Most of the time, your best option will be to say that you are not healthy enough to make a statement.
Ideally, you should not make any kind of recorded statement without your lawyer present. At a minimum, do not make a statement when you are in pain, taking pain medication, stressed, or otherwise upset. You need to be in a clear state of mind to provide an accurate statement that doesn’t jeopardize your claim value.
6. Give Limited Medical Authorization
The insurance company will ask you to provide some medical record authorizations so that they can see records of your appointments with doctors, physical therapists, and other care providers. That's understandable, and you should provide such authorizations.
But you need to make sure that it’s a limited authorization that only covers medical care related to the injury. The insurance company does not need access to your previous medical records, treatments, or diagnoses that are unrelated to the current injury.
7. Report Super-Added Injuries
Super-added injuries are injuries you sustain as a direct result of the original injury on your workers’ compensation claim. So, if you broke an ankle on the job, and the break caused you to fall later, breaking your wrist, you should report the wrist break as a super-added injury.
This also applies to problems associated with any medications you may be taking for your injury. If your pain medication causes stomach problems, you should seek care for the stomach problems and add them to your claim. If you have an allergic reaction to a medication, you should add it, and any resulting medical bills, to your claim.
Still have questions?
The most important thing you can do when it comes to your Alabama workers’ compensation case is to hire a lawyer to represent you and fight for your case. Only a qualified lawyer will be able to navigate the laws and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
At Spellen Law, we'll fight for you every step of the way. We are here to help workers in the Birmingham, Montgomery, or Tuscaloosa area. Please reach out if you've been injured on the job, we're here to help.