The biggest mistake you can make in your workers’ compensation claim would be to underestimate our opposition – the opposing insurance company and, some extent, your employer.
It is tempting to believe that a long time employer will have your best interests at heart. You might also expect that a licensed doctor would do his/her best to help you. It is also just human nature to believe that an insurance company adjuster would never take any action to deliberately damage you.
Unfortunately, if you expect that the insurance company, posted panel doctor and your employer will act in good faith and with concern for your well being, you are likely going to be sorely disappointed.
Workers’ compensation cases in Georgia are usually hotly contested. In fact, you would not be off target to compare your workers’ compensation case to a contested divorce case between two soon to be ex-spouses who don’t like each other much – this is the level of distrust and conflict that we often see in work injury cases.
So, on a more practical level the biggest mistake you can make is to treat your claim informally and to assume anything positive about the other side:
- notice – give your notice of injury in writing to a supervisor or company owner and get a written acknowledgment. Do not assume that verbal notice or notice to a company secretary is sufficient.
- medical care – seek medical care immediately and give the doctor a detailed explanation about what happened, while identifying every body part that was injured. Do not minimize your injury or engage in small talk with the doctor.
- daily activities – assume that the insurance company will hire a private detective to follow you and videotape your activities. Do not exceed your doctor’s activity and lifting restrictions even if you are having a good day.
- other legal activities – do not file bankruptcy, file for Social Security disability, file for unemployment or make any other legally binding decision without first talking to your lawyer. Other legal activities may negatively impact the settlement value of your case.
- your lawyer – do your homework and spend some time finding an experienced lawyer to represent you. If you do not follow your lawyer’s advice, or listen to friends or relatives instead of your lawyer, you will most likely damage your claim.
Attorney Jodi Ginsberg has helped injured workers recover all available benefits related to on-the-job injuries for over 25 years. If you would like to speak to Jodi about your case, please call her at 770-351-0801 or reach out to her by email using the form on this page.