Why Might Your Workers' Compensation Claim Be Denied?
Workers' compensation is insurance to protect employees from financial loss if they've been injured at work. The benefit of workers' compensation is that you don't have to prove who caused the accident/injury. Even if you are responsible, you may still qualify for workers' compensation if you were working at the time of the accident. Check out these three reasons your claim may be denied.
You Waited to Report the Accident
The most important thing to remember is to report the accident fast. In fact, your work likely has a policy regarding when and how to report workplace accidents and injuries. If you wait to report the accident, you may miss the deadline to file. In other cases, waiting to file can be used to argue your injury is non-existent or not as severe as you claim. After reporting the injury, don't wait to seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may want to leave work immediately to visit your doctor, the ER or urgent care. Either way, see your doctor soon and stick to the treatment plan to show your injures are valid.
You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
When it comes to insurance, pre-existing conditions are often trouble, and workers' compensation insurance is no different. If you have a medical history of back pain and an accident worsened the condition or forced it to return, your settlement may be affected. While your claim may not be completely denied, it may be reduced because of the pre-existing condition. The only way to get the full settlement is if you can prove the new work-related injury caused the impairment. This means proving that even if you didn't have the pre-existing condition, the outcome of the accident would have been the same.
Your Employer Claims You Weren't Working
You usually know when you are working, but there are some times when the line can seem grey. One common example is car rides. If you are driving somewhere for work, you are considered working (your commute to work does not count, unless you get paid for the commute). However, if you choose to mix work and personal errands, you may no longer be considered working. For example, if you decided to grab a bite to eat on the way back to work from a meeting, you may not be considered working once you started the personal errand.
Workers' compensation claims are usually approved fast because you don't have to prove guilt. However, there are still many ways your employer may try to have your claim denied. If you are having trouble getting your claim approved, contact a workers' compensation attorney today, like those at Smith, Jordan, & Lavery, P.A. Attorneys at Law.