As you may already know, as an employee in West Virginia, the company you work for must provide you with a safe working environment where you can reasonably expect to work without taking on serious risks. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If you got injured while on the job, your next move should be filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, it’s best to consult with a qualified attorney first. Just because you have a right to be looked after as the injured party doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be easy. The following reasons are common for why claims get denied and why you need a lawyer in West Virginia with experience where workers’ compensation is concerned.
No One Saw You Get Injured
Workers’ compensation insurance agencies never look fondly on injuries that don’t have witnesses. You’re guaranteed that they will run through your entire claim with a fine-tooth comb. If no one was around when you got hurt, there’s nothing you can do about that. Just be sure to notify your coworkers and immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
You Took Much Time Reporting the Incident
Speaking of which, you have to report your accident as soon as it happened. This is good advice to keep in mind even if you suffer, say, a fall, but seem to be fine. If you wake up the next day and it’s clear you slipped a disc, you’ll have a hard time convincing an insurer that it wasn’t because of something you did in your free time.
Along with accidents no one witnessed, insurers don’t like the looks of a claim that involves time elapsing before the report came. In fact, depending on the incident, you may only have seven days to report the actual injury. Otherwise, you have no claim.
The Claim Came after You Lost Your Job
Another reason to file your claim ASAP? If you get laid off or fired after your accident, filing a claim can look like the act of a vengeful worker. There are a number of reasons these two untimely events may have coincided, but they probably don’t matter to an insurer. In their eyes, you either filed the claim out of pure anger or decided you’d try to get everything you could from your former employer.
Discrepancies Exist Between Your Report and Medical Records
Most of us would like to think an insurer might give the injured party some leeway here. After all, right after an injury, you’re under a fair amount of duress, maybe even a lot of pain. The report you give at one point is probably going to be different than the medical records taken down by an experienced doctor.
Nonetheless, if an insurer sees discrepancies between your report and the medical records submitted, they may question you about this. Unfortunately, they may even reject your claim altogether.
You Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in West Virginia
Although much of this probably doesn’t seem fair, it’s the way things work with workers’ compensation. Hopefully, this highlights why you need a workers’ compensation attorney before filing your claim.
Just because you get your claim denied doesn’t mean you can’t appeal. However, even if you are lucky enough to get what’s rightfully yours, it could still take a lot longer than it should have. Ideally, you want it done the first time.
With a qualified attorney, though, you have the best shot of having the claim go through the first time. Even if one of the above happens, your workers’ compensation attorney will know of ways to limit their effect. Should the claim get denied, rest assured your lawyer will be ready to appeal.