To the person who was just injured on the job,
I am so sorry you’re having to go through this. I know in most cases this was not your fault and you were just trying to earn your paycheck. Unfortunately, you are one out of thousands that are injured each year on the job. It doesn’t seem right or fair, but at least your employer paid into Workers Compensation insurance and you’re covered. Workers Comp should be there to continue to pay your weekly checks (at 80%) and pay your medical and things will be okay…right? I’m sorry to say that it is not always the case and you will need to be prepared. I’m hoping to provide you with some valuable information, because I wish someone would have told me about the ride I just was forced on to.
Five Things to Remember:
Get a Good Attorney
Find a doctor.
Find a support group.
Keep en eye out.
Get a Good Workers Compensation Attorney:
When I was first injured I started to hear horror stories about Workers Compensation, but I thought I must be one of the lucky ones. They paid my weekly check like clock work, my medical bills were covered and I almost didn’t get a lawyer because everything was going so well. I took the advice of a friend and called a attorney to have as a just in case. Most of the time you will be able to find an attorney that doesn’t get paid until the end of the case and only get paid if you do. I was so glad I made that call. Having a lawyer that will fight for you is crucial.
Find a Doctor:
Find a doctor that is reputable and treats your condition. Someone that will listen and will fight for your treatments. Workers Comp will send you to their IME (Independent Medical Examiner) and if you’re diagnosed with a life long condition they will try to say that this was a pre-existing condition. Workers Comp can stop paying for your treatments and medications if this IME says you do not need them and could possibly send you back to work before you’re healed. They may send you to more then one IME, in my case I was sent to 6 different ones. I guess they were hoping one of the IME’s would be on their side. Your doctor and his/her charts will be very important to stand up to the IME and many other ways in your case. Make sure to keep regular appointments with your doctor and to tell them of all your symptoms symptoms.
Keep an Eye Out:
Not to scare you, but to inform you that Workers Comp hires private investigators to have you followed. Obviously there have been people who fake illness/injury in hopes of a payday and that has ruined it for everyone. These private investigators can take pictures of you and videos of you, hoping to find you doing something you said you can not do. Just be honest and you will not have to worry about this. If you truly can not lift a bag of groceries, don’t try to. I was very creeped out about the fact that someone could be following me and taking pictures or videos of me, but I got to the decision to stop worrying about it and to let them…I had nothing to hide.
When Workers Comp. is involved it is never a fast process (unless they think they can save money by offering you a quick settlement). I am currently going on 6 1/2 years and I never thought I would be involved with them this long. They have tried to stop paying for treatments and necessary medication (for no reason) and at times fighting them was more stressful then fighting my illness. You have to be patient in this process! Workers Comp can play games and lots of them…before taking any settlement look at your medical bills, decide if this is going to be enough to cover the long term what ifs. Remember Workers Comp does NOT pay for pain and suffering, they only cover lost wages and medical.
To the person who was just injured on the job, you can get through this! It may all seem a little overwhelming, but finding out your rights and finding people to help you fight, will lighter the load. Not all Workers Comp. agencies are against you, but regardless take the time to know what they can and can’t do.
If you have been denied a claim for which you believe you are entitled to receive benefits. Contact our Pasadena, WA Workers compensation attorney. Call us today!