While being able to support a family without ever leaving the house would be ideal for many, the reality of modern life is that earning living wages tends to require going to the workplace. Unfortunately, not every job is glamorous and some can put workers in significant danger. Whether you’re on a construction site or working security at an entertainment venue, working can present a significant risk of injury from both reasonably foreseeable and utterly surprising circumstances. The severity of one’s injury and the medical care you receive both factor in to how well you are able to maintain your livelihood moving forward. But you may not realize that the actions you take following a work injury can also influence your future.
Despite what you may have seen or heard from media portrayals and television shows, worker’s compensation cases are far from a slam-dunk. Unfortunately, while laws do provide an avenue for employees injured on the job to obtain compensation, there are many potential pitfalls along the way.
The first mistake that many injured workers make is declining to hire an attorney before moving forward.
While the circumstances may seem simple to you, an attorney is necessary in these deceptively complicated matters. Once your injury has been reported, you’ll be faced with a variety of offers to settle or even waive your claim without any compensation. Such offers may seem appealing at the outset, but sadly, your employer and its insurance company may not be looking out for your best interests. Such entities may entice you with quick offers, but those can be difficult to understand and may be substantially less profitable for you than going to court.
An attorney can help you figure out what is right for you and help you understand what lawyers for your employer and insurance company are really offering. Merely having an attorney will indicate that you are serious and can help you obtain compensation without even going to court.
Remember to follow medical advice your doctor provides.
Getting treatment for your injuries as soon as possible is essential not only for your health but for your attempt to secure compensation. After you have received initial treatment or undergone surgery, your responsibility does not end. You need to keep following your doctor’s orders regarding rest, nutrition and medication. If you fail to do so, your employer’s insurance company may try to claim you brought a medical condition upon yourself by ignoring your doctor’s recommendations.
Don’t make any statements or sign any documents without consulting your attorney.
Your attorney isn’t useful only for courtroom conflicts. More than anything else, your attorney serves as a trustworthy guide and advisor and can help you make good decisions. This includes guidance on whether or not to accept a settlement, waive a claim and/or make any statements. In the world of law, particularly worker’s compensation law, every word counts. So even if you think you’re making a harmless statement, you could be inadvertently damaging your claim and reducing your chances of obtaining compensation.
Be open and honest with your attorney.
Your attorney is someone who is on your side and intends to pursue your claim as you direct. Thus, you should discuss with your attorney the goals of the representation and the means by which your attorney should pursue your claim. Don’t try to hide information from your lawyer because you think it may be damaging. Your attorney will be most successful if he or she has all of the information possible relating to your claim. Only then can you two decide how best to move forward and secure compensation.
Shelly Duell is a blogger for Todd Durham, personal injury and car accident attorney in Lewisville, Texas and surrounding cities. Personal injuries can occur when you least expect it and at the most unsuitable of times. Having a lawyer that truly cares about your well-being first and foremost, completely changes the entire outcome a situation involving injury.