When workers get hurt on the job in Oklahoma, they have two things going for them. First, almost all employees in the state are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. And second, workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefit, which means that injured employees are eligible for benefits even if their actions caused their injuries (with a few exceptions).
Although those facts sound promising, injured workers aren’t guaranteed that their applications will be approved—especially when they contain mistakes or oversights. Getting rejected can be devastating, as it means more time without needed benefits while unable to work and having to go through a length appeal process.
It’s important to get your claim approved the first time, and this blog breaks down some of the common mistakes you should avoid to increase your application’s chances of approval.
Not Reporting Your Injury to a Supervisor or Manager
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer needs to know that you were hurt on the job. If you never tell your employer what happened, your claim can’t be approved, as your employer is required to complete an injury report. And if you wait too long to report your injury, it can be more difficult to prove that you were hurt while working, which decreases your chances of getting benefits.
After an on-the-job injury, be sure to report it to a supervisor or manager, even if you told a coworker first. You should also ensure that an official accident report is completed and filed. If you don’t, your employer may pretend that the injury never occurred, making it very difficult for you to get compensation.
Not Getting Immediate Medical Attention
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to be directly transported to the hospital from work, or you may be able to arrange transportation there or to your doctor’s office. Either way, you need to get treated immediately, as doing so not only protects your health, but also creates an official record of your injury happening at work.
When you get medical treatment, be honest about your injury. If it comes out that you exaggerated or even downplayed your injury, you may be unable to get compensation or have your benefits revoked. You should also mention previous injuries you’ve suffered, especially if your work-related injury involved aggravating them.
Not Following Your Doctor’s Medical Advice
Workers’ compensation benefits are assigned to injured workers based on whether they are temporarily or permanently disabled by their injuries. When claims involve temporarily disabling injuries, workers can receive benefits contingent on them getting medical care and following their doctors’ advice to get better. When workers don’t do their part in their recoveries, they may lose their benefits.
To receive or continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you need to attend your doctor appointments, undergo any recommended physical rehabilitation or surgery, and avoid activities that can aggravate or worsen your injury. Your goal should be to get better so that you can return to work.
Not Hiring a Lawyer Right Away
The workers’ compensation system is complex and not very user-friendly. Many applicants are overwhelmed by the application process, especially when they’re trying to come to grips with their new painful and disabling injuries. Trying to successfully receive workers’ compensation benefits while also recovering from a serious injury is simply too much to ask for many injured workers.
Calling an attorney as soon as possible after an on-the-job injury means that your application will be much stronger from the outset. Your lawyer can advise you on all the immediate steps and then take over building your application while you focus on getting better. And the sooner you reach out for help, the sooner your claim will be completed, submitted, and approved.
We’re Ready to Assist with Your Workers’ Compensation Application
Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of the injury. Whether your injury occurred this morning or several months ago, our Oklahoma workers’ compensation lawyers want to help. At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work hard to help our clients get their claims approved regardless of the type of work they do.
Contact us today for a free consultation about getting workers’ compensation benefits, even if weeks, months, or more than one year has passed since your workplace injury. We’ll review the facts of your case and give you honest feedback on your best options for moving forward.