By law, most employees in Oklahoma are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries. But this does not mean that it’s easy for workers to obtain the benefits they deserve. Many insurance companies will look for any opportunity to lower the value of a workers’ compensation claim or deny it altogether. Don’t let this happen to you. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, it’s important to know what to do to ensure you are fully compensated. Follow these tips:
Report Your Injuries Immediately
In Oklahoma, you are required to report your injury to your employer within 30 days or you may lose your right to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. But even though you have 30 days, it’s best to notify your employer as soon as possible. Quick notification also allows you to start the process of filing your claim for benefits.
Get Medical Treatment Right Away
Once you’re injured on the job, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The insurance company that reviews your claim may question the severity of your injuries or how they were sustained if you wait to seek medical treatment. This skepticism could make it harder to obtain all the benefits you deserve.
Know Your Rights for Choosing a Doctor
You cannot obtain workers’ compensation benefits unless you have been diagnosed with a work-related injury or illness. The law in Oklahoma gives employers the right to choose the physician that treats your work-related injuries; however, the law also gives you the right to choose your own doctor if your employer has failed to provide you with medical treatment within 7 days after being notified of your injury, or in case of an emergency.
Prepare for the Independent Medical Examination
You may be asked to submit to an independent medical examination (IME) as part of your workers’ comp benefits claim process. This exam is conducted by a physician hired by the insurance company who is not your primary treating doctor. The IME doctor will conduct an exam, review your medical records, and provide the insurance company with a report. (See our post on Tips on Handling Your Workers’ Comp Medical Examination.)
Keep Detailed Records
Be sure to keep all paperwork concerning your workers’ comp claim, including correspondence from your employer and the insurance company, accident reports, work restriction slips, and any other records pertaining to your work-related injury. Many of these records will be essential in getting your claim approved.
Realize You May be Under Surveillance
If the insurance company believes that your injuries may not be as severe as you claim, they may hire a private investigator to follow you and report back on activities that may contradict your claim. If you think you are a target of surveillance, talk with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Seek Legal Representation
Hiring an attorney can increase your chances of securing the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. An experienced attorney will know how to deal with the insurance company and overcome the obstacles that may arise in a workers’ compensation claim. If you want to obtain every dollar of compensation you deserve, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation immediately after suffering an on-the-job injury.
Have you been injured in the workplace? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. We take great pride in helping injured workers secure the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to by law. Let us fight for you. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.