Is Your Compensation Paperwork About Your Well-Being?

Posted on: 13 February 2017

Workers compensation is designed as a safety net for workers who were injured by no fault of their own or because of a mistake that anyone could have made--although it's best to avoid accepting or placing blame until the legal procedures are done and the payments have been made. There are a few issues with parts of workers compensation claims and rewards, and some of them work against your favor. Keep a few of these points in mind before signing any kind of paperwork as you work through a workers compensation claim. 

Do You Really Know What's Written?

Legal documents are long and daunting, and like many long pieces of paperwork, the average person is likely to sign away (or hit next/agree/continue) to get the ordeal over with. Workers compensation claims are one of those situations where that's a terrible idea.

Hidden in the paperwork could be language that leaves potential compensation on the table--or even worse, blames you for the issue. Did you read the entire document? Are you a skimmer who could have skipped over a few important parts to get the gist? You might overlook crucial points if you lack legal experience.

It's best to avoid signing such paperwork unless your own attorney is able to review the contents, no matter what side you're on in a compensation claim. You're under no obligation to sign paperwork immediately, so if you're being pressured or coaxed to sign quickly, be extra cautious. If you were coerced with threats of (or actual) violence or reprisal, let an attorney know immediately to begin nullifying the paperwork.

Could You Be Entitled to More?

Workers compensation gives a percentage of your paycheck (depending on the state you're working in) as compensation while covering your medical benefits. That's great, as long as your injury is truly temporary.

Your injury may heal to the point of allowing you to work, but it could affect your work either now or in the future. It's hard to know if a condition causes problems years or decades down the road, but one thing is certain; you don't need to give up your rights to compensation just because time passes. An attorney may be able to get additional compensation or different compensation programs ready for you if necessary.

A personal injury lawsuit may be in order if it can be proven that an individual caused your misfortune. Was your injured caused by an old injury flaring up, such as falling at work because of weak knees caused by military service? Seeking compensation from previous occupations--especially Veterans Affairs and their robust compensation system--is an option, and getting the proof is a long task that can be running in the background as you recover.

Speak with a workers compensation attorney like those at Thompson Legal Services to make sure that all opportunities for compensation are available before signing any paperwork.