While most injured workers don't intend to commit workers' compensation fraud, the issue can still negatively affect their claims. Anything that holds up a worker's right to benefits after an injury is to be avoided so read on and find out how to steer clear of any problems that would interfere.
Your Work-Related Injury is Serious
If your injury involves a condition that is expected to take several weeks (or months) to heal, the cost of the treatment might automatically elevate your chances for problems. More serious injuries like burns, back and head injuries, amputations, and broken bones take a long time to heal and your use of benefits like medical expenses and a partial disability wage will begin to add up. Unfortunately, the workers' comp carrier your employer uses may want to take a closer look at the circumstances, which can result in a slow claim process. If this happens to you, you can expect to be asked for additional documentation and eye-witness statements from coworkers.
You Are Asked to Undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME)
Independent medical exams can be commonplace with almost any type of injury, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are in for problems. Unfortunately, though, the results of those exams can be unfair and can really throw injured workers for a loop. You may think things are bad enough after a work injury, but what if you are being told to return to work or be fired? That could happen if the IME doesn't go your way. This exam is performed by a doctor. They will base their evaluations on what they see during the exam. If you are being told to return to work despite being too hurt to do so, speak to a workers' comp lawyer right away. You may be able to have a second IME performed by a neutral doctor.
You Are Offered a Quick Settlement
Your injury might take time to not only heal but to come to a plateau. Maximum medical improvement is the name for a point in time when your injury is not expected to improve further but may still need more treatment. Unfortunately, this can also mean you have a permanent injury. Some workers' comp insurers try to rush things to prevent having to pay out what you are owed in a settlement. They do this by employing a variety of tricks and methods that can make some workers give up and accept a premature settlement. Make sure you don't agree to a settlement that fails to take into account your future medical needs as well as future potential income losses.
For more information about dealing with the above problems, speak to a workers compensation lawyer.