What Not To Do In A Work Comp Case
If you have been injured at work, you are entitled by law to a compensation both for your missed wages and medical bills. In California, even if the injury was the result of your own negligence or otherwise caused by you, you are still entitled to a compensation.
However, it is not always so simple. There are many things that can go wrong and cost you a lot of compensation money. If you are injured, your best bet is to consult a workers’ compensation attorney Fresno, even for an initial consultation which is usually free. They will tell you about the specifics of your case, but overall, there are some common mistakes people make.
Don’t Skip Your Doctor’s Appointments
Your work comp claim rests largely on the existence of the injury. The only way to corroborate that is by having plenty of medical records of the injury. Immediately after the accident occurs, you need to see your doctor to ensure that the injury is recorded in your medical file.
However, you’re not done after that. You will need to see your doctor or a doctor that your attorney or other interested parties tell you to. In some cases, the insurance company will require you to be examined by an independent medical examiner to determine the injury is real and hindering your work. If you skip this appointment, the insurance company will use it against you and may disprove your workers’ compensation claim.
Lying to Your Attorney or the Judge
Your attorney is a person whom you should trust. They need to know all the details of your case in order to be able to represent you in court. If you lie to them, they cannot build a good case and may eventually lose the case in court if the other side presents evidence of your lies.
Not only do you risk losing your benefits and your case, but you can also end up accused of insurance fraud, which is a serious felony. Honesty is the best policy in this case, and you should tell our attorney everything you know which may be relevant to the case, like your previous illnesses or injuries.
Being Vague or Changing Your Story a Lot
Our memories aren’t perfect, particularly when it comes to traumatic events, like injuries tend to be. However, you should be able to give your attorney as many details as possible and make sure that you stick to that story.
Only tell your attorney about things you are certain of, otherwise, it may come back to haunt you if the opposition can prove that parts of your story are untrue. If you start changing the story every time you go to a hearing, the other side may use that against you and it will certainly erode your credibility in court.
Being Unwilling to Compromise
In some cases, the employers or the insurance company approach the claimants in order to settle the matter outside the workers compensation court. Some claimants take that to be a sign that the other side is afraid of losing and refuse the settlement and even increase the asking sum.
However, this usually doesn’t work and it may even have the adverse effect. The judge will be familiar with the offer and if they believe that the sum that was offered for settlement was fair and you refused it, they may turn against you and judge less favorably to you. Workers’ compensation trial is not the place to demand punitive measures against your employer, but a means to get the money that is rightfully yours. If you want punitive damages from your employer, you will need a different lawsuit.