If you are injured, how and when you report your injury is often the difference between speedy acceptance of the claim by the insurance company and a long drawn out battle with an uncertain outcome. Most claims are denied because the insurer does not believe it happened on the job or does not believe the mechanism of injury is covered under the law.You can protect yourself by understanding the law and minimizing the danger by being prompt and accurate.
The Insurer Does Not believe It Happened On The Job
This problem usually comes up when the incident causing the injury is not witnessed . The antidote is really common sense. You must act in a manner that minimizes the possibility in the insurance adjuster’s mind that some other non work related incident caused your injury. Therefore to reduce the risk that the insurer will not find you credible you must:
- Report the incident and injury the same day it occurs to your employer in a manner in which you can prove that you did so and/or the likelihood of your employer denying that you did is reduced(in writing, by email, directly by voice – only as a last resort by a message on an answering machine).
- Seek medical treatment the same day, or as soon as you can – even from a 24 hour urgent care center if you must, and when you do so make sure you give an accurate history of how you were injured on the job.
- If you have not already, always report an injury that lingers overnight the next day to your employer.
- Never allow a weekend, holiday, vacation or sick leave intervene between the incident occurred that injured you and the day you report the incident.
Your Description Of The Incident That Caused Your Injury
Maryland Workers’ Compensation law is clear that an injury is covered if it is the unexpected, unintended, or unusual result of an incident. Therefore you must clearly report:
- That an incident occurred;
- When it occurred;
- How it occurred.
When detailing how it occurred, if you know what caused the injury state it. If you stretched too far while carrying a box, say so. If you slipped make sure to include that fact. The key is to include, if possible, why the mechanism of injury was caused by the incident. This will help defeat any claim that the injury is not related to the incident or that the incident is not one that is covered under the law.
By Clifford Sobin, Esq.