Every job poses some amount of risk to workers’ safety. Someone who sits at a desk can get hurt by a box falling off a shelf; a construction worker can fall from scaffolding; salespeople can get into car accidents.
Whatever risks you might face on the job, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer an illness or injury. However, these benefits could be in jeopardy if you make one of the following missteps.
- Failing to report your accident – New Jersey workers’ compensation rules dictate that to be eligible for benefits, you must report the accident within 90 days. It is crucial to tell your employer right away. If they do not notify the insurance carrier, you can do so yourself to protect your eligibility.
- Putting off medical care – People who think their injuries are minor or will get better over time might decide against going to the doctor. However, when you put off medical care, you could allow your injury to get worse and wind up suffering without a diagnosis, treatment or medication. Further, you make it more difficult to secure benefits when you have insufficient medical records to support your claim.
- Underestimating your economic losses – Whether you realize it or not, a serious work injury can take a financial toll on your life. It can trigger substantial medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the cost of making lifestyle adjustments and using medical devices as you recover. These economic losses can be extensive, so you should not misjudge the financial strain you could avoid by collecting workers’ compensation.
- Downplaying your injuries – When injured workers talk about their injuries, they might say the pain isn’t so bad, or they aren’t in that much pain; they might not discuss every symptom. However, downplaying your injuries – particularly to employers and doctors – could make it more difficult to collect the maximum compensation you may deserve.
- Going back to work too quickly – People who return to work too soon after an accident could endanger themselves and possibly derail any progress they may have made in their recovery. Further, going back to work could result in prematurely terminated benefits.
Avoiding these common mistakes after a work accident can make it easier for you to collect the financial benefits you may be entitled to receive.