Pitfalls for the Unwary: Mistakes Not to Make When Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

ACT NOW! Free Consultation

The workers’’ compensation system is a complex labyrinth of rules, exceptions and procedures. The less familiar you are with it, the less likely you are to receive the full benefits you deserve, even if you end up “winning” your claim. Many people damage their claims by committing easily avoidable mistakes, such as the ones described below.

Waiting Too Long to Report Your Injury

Kentucky requires an injured worker to notify his employer “as soon as possible” after an injury that might result in a workers’ compensation claim. Given the ambiguity of this phrase, it is safest to interpret its meaning as “immediately”, unless you are unconscious in the hospital. Follow up verbal notification with written notification, “as soon as possible”.

Waiting Too Long to Seek Medical Treatment

The longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the more difficult it could be for the doctor to detect evidence of your injury. On the other hand, delaying medical treatment for a serious injury could be life-threatening. One legal risk faced by injured workers who delay medical treatment is the possibility that the insurance company will claim that the injury was not caused by the workplace accident, but by something that happened off-duty after the accident.

Letting the Insurance Company Choose Your Doctor

Do not rely on a doctor selected by the insurance company, because a conflict of interest may exist — your doctor may feel obligated to slant his diagnosis towards the insurance company’s point of view, which almost always means less benefits than you desire, or no benefits at all. Instead, use Form 113 to select your own doctor. Remember — you have the right under Kentucky law to choose your own doctor.

Ignoring the Possibility of Surveillance

The larger your claim is, the more the insurance company is going to be willing to spend to fight it. And that could mean hiring a private investigator to shadow you, attempting to gather evidence that you are faking your injury or that it is not as serious as you claim it is. Always be aware of this. Your online social media profiles are also likely to be monitored, so don’t upload anything that might be detrimental to your claim, and warn your online friends not to do so either.

Failing to Retain a Lawyer for a Significant Claim

If you sprained your ankle and missed two days of work, you might not need a lawyer to resolve your claim. But it cannot be reiterated enough — the higher the value of your claim, the more vigorously the insurance company will fight it. You won’t have to pay any upfront money to retain Glenn Martin Hammond — and if you don’t win your claim, you will never owe a dime in legal fees.

Make It Happen, Starting Today

It is best you get an experienced lawyer involved as soon as you decide to pursue a claim, or even while you are wondering whether you have a valid claim. Contact Kentucky workers’ compensation and disability lawyer Glenn Martin Hammond at (606) 437-7777, or fill out our online contact form, for a free, no-obligation consultation where we can discuss your case.

Scroll to Top