140-plus million workers around the United States—that’s 94 percent of them—are covered by workers’ compensation. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 3.5 percent of full-time American workers are injured each year. While some industries—construction, welding—frequent more injuries than others, understand that workers’ compensation claims are very common.
Considering that the annual cost of such claims runs upwards of $100 billion each year in the United States, employers often thoroughly investigate them, and deny them virtually whenever legal provisions allow them to. Here are four things injured workers often do that affect their chances of claim approval.
How Long after Injuries Are Employers Notified?
Tons of minor injuries occur in every workplace. Consider, for example, someone that accidentally staples their hand while trying to staple papers. Unless the staple strikes a fragile tendon in that person’s arm, wrist, or hand, the misguided staple likely won’t cause any serious issues. However, infections often take longer than one or two days to develop and establish themselves as dangerous, or even life-threatening.
If that employee doesn’t notify their employer with minutes of it happening—even if the injury wasn’t initially serious—but a major infection occurs the next day, the employer is correct in thinking that it didn’t happen at work. Courts of law side with employers in claims that weren’t immediately notified to employers.
Were Claimants’ Statements Consistent?
Liars often change their stories when asked multiple times about whatever happened. Being nervous causes people to change stories, as well. Courts of law often side against claimants that tell different stories. Hiring lawyers like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP can help you act out of principle and reason, not emotion, preventing such changes of a story from happening.
Whether One Seeks Medical Help or Not
What’s one thing humans have that cannot be taken away from them? Their bodies and minds. Since the human body is so important, courts are likely to rule against claimants if they don’t immediately seek medical attention. In the United States, workers’ compensation claims have a 30-day limit of notification following injuries.
For medical attention to be most effective, employees shouldn’t wait longer than a few hours to seek help—definitely not as long as 30 days. Courts recognize how urgent injuries are, and always consider how long it took claimants to visit doctors.