Workers’ Compensation Claims: 6 Mistakes to Avoid (Pt. 1)
October 10, 2014
Workers’ compensation laws are intended to protect people, providing them with financial support in the event they hurt while working or during the course of performing their job duties. Despite this, however, workers’ compensation claims can be confusing and frustrating to pursue, as there are a number strict rules associated with filing claims, and making even a few minor mistakes can have significant impacts on people’s claims – and whether they end up getting the benefits they need and deserve.
Given these facts, as well as the fact that many injured workers depend on workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical care as they recover, in this blog series, we will point out some of the most common mistakes people make with workers’ compensation claims. To avoid making such mistakes and position your claim for approval, be sure to contact the Portland workers’ compensation attorneys at the Savage Law Firm.
Here’s What NOT to Do with Workers’ Compensation Claims…
Mistake 1 – Not reporting a work injury to an employer and/or physician ASAP.
After an accident or any event that causes you to be injured at work, getting immediate medical care will likely be your first concern. While getting any emergency medical treatments you need is important, what is also important in the aftermath of a workplace injury is reporting the injury to your employer and/or to the doctor you end up seeing:
- If you end up reporting the work injury to your employer, your employer should give you a Form 801 (Worker’s and Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease/Illness).
- If you end up reporting the work injury to a physician, the doctor and you should complete a Form 827 (Worker’s and Physician’s Report for Worker’s Compensation Claims).
Failing to report your workplace injury and complete the appropriate form to get your workers’ compensation claim started can end up costing you benefits or, worse yet, causing your claim to be denied if you try to pursue it later.
Mistake 2 – Signing agreements with employers to not file workers’ compensation claims.
Following workplace injuries, some employers may try to take advantage of disoriented and injured workers by pushing them into signing agreements to forego filing workers’ compensation claims.
While employers may try to persuade injured workers to do this by claiming that they, the company, will pay for all of an injured person’s medical bills, regardless of what an employer may be offering when trying to get injured people to sign these agreements, it’s critical that injured workers do NOT sign anything to this end.
In fact, injured workers should be aware that:
- Employers cannot require them to sign such agreements (in other words, injured workers have the absolute right to refuse to sign such agreements without repercussion from an employer).
- The push to get employees to sign these agreements is often an employer’s attempt to try to limit their own insurance payouts (and possibly insurance premium increases).
- Employers cannot force employees to be independent contractors, corporate officers or partners in an effort to avoid having to cover them with workers’ compensation insurance.
We will resume our discussion of common mistakes to avoid when filing workers’ compensation claims in a few upcoming parts of this blog series. Be sure to check them out!
Portland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been injured while working? If so, it’s time to contact the experienced Portland workers’ compensation lawyers at the Savage Law Firm.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.
We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.