1. KEEPING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMPANY DOCTORS: As you know, your employer and their insurance company are allowed to choose your doctors in your workers’ compensation claim. It is very important that you maintain a good working relationship with these doctors. These doctors may accuse you of exaggerating your injury and worse. However, do not lose your temper. The doctor will record both what you say and your behavior in his notes which will be passed onto the insurance company, and if your case is not settled, onto the judge who hears your case. It is perfectly okay to ask questions, but do not expect that the doctor will have all the answers. He may very well say that he has done everything he can and you will just have to live with your problems. This is common among insurance company doctors. However, do not be discouraged as there are doctors I know who will try to fix your medical problems.
2. TELL YOUR DOCTOR “EVERYTHING” THAT HURTS: One of the most critical pieces of evidence is how you feel and how your injuries have affected your ability to function on a daily basis. Your doctor is required to keep accurate and detailed records of your medical history and care. The records include your description of how you were injured, your physical complaints, and your injuries, the doctor’s examination findings, and the treatment you received. The insurance companies will base its offer to you on this critical information. If you fail to tell the doctor everything that hurts, not only will it not be treated properly, but also no one will know about it. If you first begin to complain about some problem weeks or even months after you were hurt, the insurance company will claim that the problem was not from the accident and reduce their settlement offer to you.
3. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S ORDERS: If your doctor tells you to get therapy three days a week, but you only go once a week, you will damage your claim. The insurance company will say that “you could not have been truly injured, or you would have followed your doctor’s recommendations” and will reduce their settlement offer to you.
4. KEEP A DIARY TO DOCUMENT YOUR INJURIES: Few people ever think of writing down how they felt. You need to remember the details of your injury and how you felt on a day-to-day basis. A diary helps to provide accurate accounts of your injuries and how they affected your ability to function on a daily basis. Your diary will help you prove the extent of your injuries, and can mean a higher evaluation of your claim.
5. KEEP DOCUMENTATION REGARDING MISSED WORK: It is important that you keep track of the time you missed from work. This includes keeping doctors excuses for missed work and keeping track of time you miss work for doctors’ appointments.
6. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY AND YOUR EMPLOYER: They will use anything and everything you tell them against you. And no matter what, DO NOT LIE. Even a small lie can ruin your credibility. The best policy is to always tell the truth. That way you will never have to worry about what you said.