Whether, you are getting the run around from the insurance company’s doctor, or you are looking at a check for weekly wage replacement benefits that seems way too small, you should be aware of one important thing, doing the wrong things can make it much harder for you to receive the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Here are is a list of 5 mistakes that can doom your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim. They are based on many years of legal experience and discussions with many judges and other workers’ compensation attorneys.
1. Failure to report your work-related injury. New Jersey law requires that you report your injury within 90 days of the date the accident took place, or 90 days from the date when you knew or should have known that you have sustained a work-related injury or illness.
For example, if you see your family doctor for an injury or illness that might be work-related, and your doctor confirms that it is work related, you have 90 days from the date your doctor confirmed your work-related injury or illness to notify your employer.
2. Failing to go see a doctor. If you fail to go to the doctor altogether, the insurance company will argue that since you failed to see a doctor, you must not have been injured.
Always get checked out by a doctor immediately after being in any serious accident. Some injuries may not be readily apparent moments after the accident, but may give you a lot of problems in the weeks or months that follow.
3. Failing to tell your doctor about everything. If do not tell your doctor about everything that hurts, or if understate your injuries, you can seriously compromise your claim for benefits.
For instance, if you are seeing a doctor for pain and numbness in your hands, but you are also having problems with your shoulder or neck, you should let the doctor know. While your hands may be the focus of the examination, your shoulder and neck pain may be related to the same accident.
Make sure that you tell your doctor about all medical problems related to your work injury and list them on the appropriate medical forms.
4. Telling the doctor that you are fine, when you are not. Never tell the doctor or other medical providers, such as your physical therapist, that you are feeling fine if, in fact, you are still having problems. If you do so, they will write in your medical records that you are back to normal and able to return to full duty at work.
If you have been off work and receiving wage replacement benefits, this can jeopardize your ability to continue to receive those benefits and you may be expected to go back to work too soon. For this reason, it is very important to let your doctor and other medical providers know how you truly feel, but especially when you are still having problems that limit your ability to work.
5. Not following up with your doctor when you are still having problems. Failing to see your doctor regularly will be viewed as evidence by the insurance company (and/or the judge deciding on your case) that you have fully recovered from your injury. While you do not have to go to the doctor every day, you should see your doctor regularly and let them know that you’re still having problems.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The fact that you are reading this article means that you realize how important it is to know something about how the New Jersey workers’ system works. To find out the answers to other questions regarding your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim, consult with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.
Most attorneys offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation where you can discuss your case and find out how the attorney can assist you with your claim. Call us today and let us help you locate the help you need.