Follow These Workers’ Comp Guidelines
To obtain the maximum recovery for your claim, we need complete cooperation and assistance from you. The following are general guidelines that should be followed in most workers’ compensation cases:
- Statements About the Accident: You should not talk to anyone about your accident except the lawyers or investigators from our office. This includes not talking to co-employees, your employer, your employer’s insurance company’s adjuster, or to any lawyers hired by your employer’s insurance company without notifying us in advance so we may be present if necessary.
- Statements About Injuries: If co-workers, relatives or friends ask about your injuries, answer their questions honestly. Do not complain if you do not hurt, but if you do hurt, say so. Damaging evidence is often introduced at trial when a co-worker, friend or relative that is subpoenaed to testify by the employer, is forced to testify that you engaged in a particular activity and did not complain about discomfort or pain when he or she asked how you felt.
- Preserve Physical Evidence: If your injury requires a brace, cast, traction or other orthopedic appliance, save it for evidence at any hearings. Likewise, you should keep all medicine containers, whether for prescription or over-the-counter medications. In the event you are using non-prescription medications, such as aspirin or Tylenol, save all receipts for these medications and forward them to our office shortly before trial.
- Witnesses: Immediately furnish us with the full name, address and telephone number of all witnesses you know of at the present, or learn of later.
- Medical Expenses: Obtain and keep copies of all medical bills of any nature. Periodically send all accumulated bills to our office. This is particularly important if you are receiving medical treatment over an extended period of time. You should remind each facility that you will need an itemized statement for all charges. You should also ask each facility if they have an authorization to release medical information that they prefer to use. If so, please complete the authorization so the facility will release any records that we request to us. Do not allow the facility to release records to anyone other than this law firm or yourself.
- Paying Hospital and Doctor Bills: If you have private health insurance, have them pay as many hospital and doctor bills as possible if the employer or insurance company is refusing to pay for treatment. Doctors and hospitals are much more cooperative when their bills are paid. If there is any outstanding balance and no insurance to cover the expenses, you should set up a payment plan. Most hospitals and/or doctors will accept even nominal payments to keep your account in good standing, provided you are consistent in making the payments on time.
Missouri law also provides that it is illegal for a medical provider, or any debt collector acting on their behalf, to continue to attempt to collect a medical bill from an injured worker if the medical provider is notified that the treatment was necessitated by a work-related injury and the names and addresses of the employer and insurance company are provided.
If you begin receiving letters from bill collectors or the medical provider indicating that a bill has remained unpaid for more than 30-60 days, it is important for you to provide these bills to us so that we may either submit them to the employer/insurer for payment or write a letter to the provider or bill collector which, by statute, can prevent them from further collecting your bill until the resolution of your case.
Make sure that we have a complete list of every doctor and medical facility that treats you. You should be totally truthful with your doctor and explain fully all symptoms or injuries that arise from the accident, including aggravation of previous problems. If a prior physical problem is aggravated by your recent injury, make sure that you inform the doctor of your physical condition before the last injury.
Set Up A Meeting To Learn More
The lawyers at Hall Ansley have been representing injured workers for twenty plus years. We are familiar with the denial and delay tactics and will assist our clients in getting the justice that is deserved, so call us at 417-429-1372 or contact us by email for a free consultation.
To download the Workers’ Compensation form, click here.