Getting hurt while on the job is never fun. But, if you are injured in the workplace and you can't work for a while, most employers have workers compensation insurance. You and your employer simply have to file a claim with the insurance company and you can get compensation. However, not all claims go smoothly. Here are three things that can hurt your workers compensation claim.
1. You didn't report your workplace injury or accident immediately afterward.
One of the biggest problems that people encounter with their workers compensation claims is they don't report their accident or injury immediately following the event. If you don't report your workplace accident or injury to your supervisor or human resources manager, then you will not be able to get workers compensation for it at all.
Also, if you delay reporting the accident or injury, it can also cause you not to get compensation because it will open the door for the insurance company to claim your injury occurred elsewhere. So, even if your supervisor tries to tell you not to officially report your workplace injury, you need to do so because that is the biggest way you can protect yourself during a workers compensation claim.
2. You were intoxicated when the accident or injury occurred.
After a workplace accident or injury, you need to be evaluated by a medical professional. They will likely perform a test checking for drugs and alcohol. If any of those substances are found in your system, then your workers compensation claim will be denied.
The reason that workers compensation doesn't cover accidents and injuries that occur while a worker is intoxicated is because they consider those injuries to be self-inflicted. After all, you knowingly drank alcohol or took drugs that impaired your judgement and work abilities. However, if the drugs in question are actually your prescribed medication, your injury could still be covered by workers compensation.
3. Your accident and subsequent injury were not witnessed by anyone else.
One of the biggest red flags for the workers compensation insurance company is when an accident and injury weren't witnessed by any other party. Of course, many places have security cameras recording throughout their facilities, which can serve as a witness if your accident was caught on camera.
However, if there are no security cameras and no other witnesses, your claim will likely have to be investigated further. Not all unwitnessed accidents are bogus, and the insurance companies know that. However, they will be less likely to award your workers compensation claim without performing a full investigation if you don't have any witnesses on your side.
If your claim is denied, you may wish to speak to a workers compensation lawyer, like those at Erickson Law Office, about appealing the claim.