A work-related accident can take you out of work for weeks and even months. The good news is that workers’ compensation benefits can cover your medical bills and some of your lost income.
To ensure you have the money you need to cover your expenses, you should do everything within your power to boost your settlement award. Learn the steps you can take to maximize your Pennsylvania workers compensation settlement.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
See a doctor and start treatment as soon as you can after your accident. Delaying treatment can lower your settlement award and even serve as grounds for denying your claim. The insurance company may argue that you aggravated your injuries by putting off treatment — or that your injuries were never that serious to begin with.
Make sure to also list all your injuries when first speaking to your doctor. If you don’t mention an injury and leave a paper trail during your first examination, it would be much harder to claim worker’s compensation benefits for it later.
Keep Detailed Records of the Injury
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation covers your entire medical treatment until you reach maximum medical improvement. However, to be able to claim the maximum benefits you may be entitled to receive, you need to support your claim with proper evidence.
You should keep a thorough record of your injuries and the course of your treatment, including all visits to the doctor, any surgeries or other procedures, prescription medications, tests and scans, and more. Request and keep copies of all your medical documentation and forward them to your attorney as soon as they become available.
Know Your Future Medical Expenses
Workers’ compensation also covers reasonably anticipated future medical expenses that you will require for your work injury.
Always keep in mind that if you settle with the insurance company and give a full and final release on your claim, you won’t be able to seek additional compensation later. You will be personally and fully responsible for paying any future medical expenses not covered by your settlement award.
The better you understand your future medical needs, the more likely you are to negotiate an optimal settlement. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you calculate your future expenses and evaluate your claim properly to maximize your benefits. They can also advise whether you can use other types of insurance to cover future medical expenses.
Remember You May Be Under Surveillance
If the insurance agents suspect you of exaggerating or lying about your injuries, they may place you under surveillance. They will be watching you closely for signs that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
If you are an injured worker and believe you may be under surveillance, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. They will explain your rights and legal options and advise on next steps.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims are complex. Compensation programs may vary across employers and insurance providers. There are different rules for federal workers as well. Often, it takes just one procedural mistake to reduce your settlement amount or end up with a claim denial.
The Pennsylvania Division of Workers’ Compensation is a valuable source of information, but it cannot replace the advice and support of an experienced attorney. Having legal representation is critical to avoiding potentially costly errors and maximizing your chances of success.
Contact a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Settlement Attorney
Are you an injured worker? We can help. At the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore, we have many years of experience handling Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims. Call our Pennsylvania office today at 1-800-CANT-WORK or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney.