In 2022, more than 2.8 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses occurred in private industry workplaces, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. If asked, how many of those employees would say seeking compensation for their injuries was an uphill battle? Likely more than a few.

With a high number of claims and rampant fraud, the workers’ compensation system can be tough. However, some of those difficulties arise because injured employees unwittingly commit errors. Here are five of the most common mistakes made after a job injury.

1. Not Reporting the Injury Promptly

One of the top mistakes workers make after getting injured is putting off reporting it. Reasons for a delayed report vary. Some workers fear it could lead to unfair treatment, a loss of income, or termination. Others may believe their condition will improve over time. 

However, failing to report a workplace injury may jeopardize the worker’s well-being and claim for compensation. In Texas, an employee injured on the job must report their injury to their employer within 30 days from the date the injury occurred or was discovered. Failure to report it within this timeframe could result in a denial of benefits.

Employers use injury reports to notify their insurance companies of workplace injuries. The insurance companies, in turn, use these reports to launch investigations into the facts related to the incidents.

There are a few noteworthy exceptions to the 30-day requirement. Speak with an attorney to best protect your rights.

2. Not Seeking Medical Attention

Taking too long to get medical attention is another common mistake, one that adds to the injured worker’s pain and suffering. The delay might even eventually lead to serious consequences.

Receiving emergency medical attention plays a vital role in workplace injury incidents. A visit to an emergency medical facility provides an evaluation of the injury and immediate treatment, which will set the employee on a course toward recovery. It also produces crucial documentation of the worker’s visit, the nature and extent of their injury, and any prescribed treatments.

When an injured worker fails to seek emergency medical attention, they risk facing scrutiny as to the seriousness of the injury on the part of their employer or their insurance provider. This doubt may contribute to a reduction in benefits or a rejected claim.

3. Not Following Prescribed Medical Advice

Seeking medical treatment is a pivotal step in addressing a work-related injury and ensuring the success of a subsequent compensation claim. Just as importantly, however, the worker must follow their treatment plan exactly as prescribed by the physician.

Following the doctor’s instructions mostly or partly won’t cut it—the worker should comply with 100% of the treatment plan. Failure to do so could complicate the injury, endangering the worker’s health. Moreover, it could give the insurance company a reason to reduce the worker’s benefits or reject the claim altogether.

4. Not Disclosing Previous Injuries

Regardless of whether a previous injury was minor or severe, the injured worker must disclose it when they file their claim. The consequences of failing to disclose a past injury include outright claim denial. If a worker pursues a claim and knowingly stays silent regarding a preexisting condition or injury, they may be suspected of fraud. 

During their initial visit to the medical facility, the worker should take their time and leave out no details when completing the medical history form. They should also inform their employer’s insurance company of any pre-existing conditions while discussing their claim.

While the insurer may likely attempt to use a previous injury against you, blaming it for the condition at the heart of your current claim, that obstacle is much easier to overcome than a fraud accusation.

5. Not Documenting the Accident

Documenting the accident that caused the injury is vital to the success of the claim for compensation that follows. While it may be difficult due to an injury’s severity, a worker should attempt to document as much as possible immediately or soon after the accident.

Documentation may include a written record of the event noting the day, time, and location where it occurred, the names and contact details of co-workers who witnessed the accident, summaries of doctor visits, and a daily accounting of symptoms.

Photos and videos can also serve as strong evidence and may end up being central to your claim. These records visually preserve key aspects of the accident scene, such as causes, effects, and complicating factors.

Awareness Can Help You Avoid Mistakes

In the hours and days after a workplace accident, you may experience severe pain, confusion, or even shock. Laws and insurance regulations will likely be far from the forefront of your mind. 

With a little knowledge and preparedness, however, you can avoid making errors that might otherwise cause you to forfeit the compensation you’re entitled to. One of the best steps you can take after a workplace injury is to reach out to a qualified lawyer for a free consultation as well.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
109 York Ave Suite #201
Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 409-7000