Published On: 5.1.2014 Charlotte, NC
Seven Ways To Screw Up Your Workers’ Comp Case
On behalf of Charles G. Monnett III & Associates
The process of settling Workers’ Compensation claims is difficult at best, but in today’s down economic climate and rising insurance premiums, many employers are increasingly reluctant to pay out even on legitimate claims. Unfortunately, many workers make a challenging situation worse by making a variety of avoidable mistakes.
In order to help you keep from sabotaging your Workers’ Compensation claim, here are some common mistakes we’ve seen people make when seeking Workers’ Comp benefits.
1. Missing Medical Appointments
A strong Workers’ Compensation claim requires medical evidence, and plenty of it. If you do not see your doctor or you skip appointments before you are released, your case may be delayed or denied. Without sufficient evidence of your work-related injuries or illness, your attorney will not have enough ammunition to adequately defend your case.
2. Skipping Depositions or Hearings
Not only will failing to appear at depositions or hearings waste time, but it will greatly weaken your case. The judge hearing your case can stop your benefits or dismiss your case altogether. If you know in advance that you are unable to appear at a scheduled deposition or hearing, let your attorney know immediately in order to reschedule.
3. Being Vague or Forgetful
No one expects you to have a perfect memory, but the more specific information you can provide, the more your attorney will have to build a strong case. If you suddenly can’t remember names, dates, activities, or other details, the less likely you will be at reaching a successful settlement.
4. Not Being Truthful
Lying or withholding information weakens your case and can possibly get you into serious trouble. Your attorney needs to have a clear understanding of your situation, such as previous injuries and illnesses, in order to support your claim. If you do not disclose important information to your attorney, or lie while under oath, not only will it hurt your credibility, but you may even be investigated for insurance fraud and other felonies.
5. Comparing Your Case to Others
Every case is unique and will have a different outcome based on the circumstances of each injured worker. The amount of your settlement will be determined by your age, occupation, salary and the type of injury (or extent of permanent disability) you have suffered. Other people may claim to have received a significant settlement for your exact injury, but there can be any number of reasons that your particular case will differ. Your attorney will help you understand your situation and manage expectations for your case.
6. Refusing to Negotiate
Reaching a Workers’ Compensation settlement requires negotiation and compromise. In many cases, it may take several appearances to get to trial, followed by a multi-day trial that can take months to complete. Your employer and insurance carrier inevitably will not want to pay any more than what they believe you deserve for your particular circumstances. Your attorney will use their legal expertise to determine what your case is worth and then fight to ensure that you reach the best possible outcome for your case.
7. Demanding Justice
Workers’ Compensation is nothing more than a form of insurance coverage that provides financial compensation for an employee’s injury or illness suffered while on the job. Pursuing your rightful benefits is not a way to punish your employer or to make your workplace safer. Insisting on going to trial when a reasonable settlement has been offered because you want to seek justice will not increase your award, and may in fact, turn the judge against you. If you want to file for punitive damages against an employer or co-worker, you will have to explore alternative legal options.
Call an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer
For further information about filing Workers’ Compensation claim, contact the experienced legal team at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates. We are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the financial support they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. Call Toll Free 800. 977.3077 or 704.376.1911 for a free consultation. We also offer free in-home consultations, as well.