6 Things to Know When Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Manassas, VA
When you’re ready to file for workers’ compensation, there’s likely a wide range of questions and concerns. Add that to general anxiety about your job, and your injury. A workers’ comp attorney in Manassas comes across under-prepared and under-informed employees all the time.
Being nervous, or anxious can impact an ALJ hearing, cause you to file documents and more inaccurately. Get a workers’ comp attorney in Manassas involved and learn as much as you can about the process now.
1. You Must Report Every Accident, You Should Report Everything Else Too
There are a few reasons why you should report every accident. First, it serves as proof that the injury came from your job. Second, it’s a record of your account at the time that it happened. Finally, your company probably has a policy requiring you to report accidents.
Not reporting an accident right away doesn’t mean that you won’t receive compensation. But, it can make your claim extremely difficult to approve, which is why you should consider reporting everything else to your employer too. If you’re getting sick regularly and believe it’s work-related, ask to make a formal report.
2. Visit an Approved Medical Provider
Along with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, they should have at least 6 doctors and a variety of urgent care centers that you can use. These doctors are part of the workers’ compensation insurance’s approved medical network.
If you see a doctor outside of this network, the workers’ compensation insurance may suspect fraud. That’s clearly not always the case. Still, it is always best to see an approved medical provider rather than prolong your workers’ compensation claim.
3. Tell All Medical Staff That the Injury Was Job Related
Seriously, tell everyone. Tell the nurse who checks you in, and the medical staff member who walks you back to the examination room. Tell the doctor multiple times. The issue here is that medical records aren’t always well documented. Don’t risk being one of the patients that the doctor forgot to make a note for.
Tell every medical person you encounter how you got the injury. Not only will they document it differently to reflect workplace injury status, but they’ll see that you need to recover to return to work as well.
4. Ensure Your Medical Records Are Thorough
As stated above, medical records are touchy subjects. Fortunately, many doctors have switched to electronic record-keeping systems when going in for a follow-up appointment request to hear what was documented most recently on your records.
If you involve a lawyer, they will likely request your medical records as part of their evidence gathering process. Thorough medical records are vital, and if you see that anything is missing, talk to your doctor about it right away.
5. There’s No Such Thing as An “Accident That Was Your Fault”
Short of outright fraud, it is extremely unlikely that any accident at work was actually your fault. If you tripped over a box because you were carrying something, your injury did not happen because you weren’t paying attention. Your employer no doubt has policies in place, and it’s true, you may have been violating a policy in some way.
Workers’ compensation is not there to play games of whose fault was it anyway. In Virginia, workers’ compensation serves as no-fault insurance. Meaning that unless you purposely put yourself in the risk of injury, fraud, you should receive benefits.
6. Don’t Delay Hiring A Workers’ Comp Attorney in Manassas
You do need an attorney on your side throughout the entire process. Think about it in terms of defense. Your workers’ compensation insurance is actually defending your employer, and while the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission should defend you, they’re likely too busy.
Working with a lawyer ensures that you have a voice in your compensation and have the option to pursue other legal avenues as well if necessary.
Get A Workers’ Comp Attorney in Manassas Involved Now
The well-experienced lawyers at Ashcraft and Gerel Law Offices can help you understand more about your case. Most workers’ compensation cases are initially denied due to failure to fill out forms or provide supporting documents properly.
Bringing in a lawyer early into your claim, you can help avoid the most common reasons for the denial. Not only can it save you time, but working with a lawyer can also help you prepare your evidence in a more transparent way if you do have to go through an appeals process.
Prepare yourself the best way possible to tackle your workers’ compensation claim process. Reach out to Ashcraft and Gerel for a review of your case and to speak with a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney in Manassas now.