Don’t Sign Documents after a Workers Comp Claim until You Speak with an Attorney

After a workplace accident, you rely on your employer to do what’s right so you will benefit from workers comp coverage. But your employer has little to do with your workers comp claim – an insurance company will handle it. And you may end up signing documents that hurt your chances of getting benefits.

The first thing to remember in this case is to consult with a Beaufort workers comp lawyer before you make any statement or sign any documents. Insurance adjusters have many tricks up their sleeve. Some of them are disguised under a friendly and helpful attitude. When you start believing that the adjuster is on your side, you may end up signing:

1. A Waiver to File a Workers Comp Claim

Each insurance company has its internal documents and forms. The paper you may sign could be presented as a mere injury report form. However, it may contain a fine print clause stating that you waive your right to seek workers comp benefits.

It may be possible to get this document voided during an appeal before the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission. But you cannot be sure of success. Plus, it means more work, time and effort to prepare the appeal and face the hearing.

2. Using Paid Time Off instead of Getting Workers Comp Benefits

Often employers are trying to pressure injured workers to use their paid time off to recover from an accident instead of filing a claim for benefits. For one thing, this option merely means that you get replacement wages. Without a workers comp claim, you won’t get reimbursed for medical care costs.

Also, you are entitled to use your paid time off in any manner you wish. You have the right to rely on this option after a workplace accident, but it is not an obligation. However, this is exactly what you may sign if a lawyer does not get to see the document before you put your name on the dotted line.

3. A Medical Release for the Insurance Company

Signing a medical release form means that you give access to the workers comp insurer to your entire medical history. What could be the problem here? Unless you’ve lived a very sheltered life, you had your share of accidents and illnesses in the past. Some of them may have left you with a predisposition for certain injuries.

talk to a workers comp lawyer before you sign anything

Others may be completely unrelated to your current workplace accident. But you can be sure that the insurance adjuster will state that you suffer from a pre-existing condition and this disqualifies you from filing a workers comp claim.

While this is not true and an attorney can disprove, it will still give the insurance company an unfair advantage while negotiating your benefits. Consult with a skilled Beaufort workers comp lawyer before signing any authorization to access your medical records.

4. A Recorded Statement Including Information That Hurts Your Case

A recorded statement given to an insurance adjuster is eligible evidence that can be used against you in any court – both for workers comp and in a civil court.

In most of the cases, the adjuster will ask misleading questions or lead you to state facts that could hurt your case. For example, you may state that:

  • You had just taken a small break when the accident happened
  • You had a slight discomfort and stiffness in the neck since morning
  • You spent the evening before the accident with friends, drinking alcohol

These statements may appear innocent – but they all bar you from filing a claim for workers comp benefits. This is why you should refuse giving any kind of statement, orally or in writing, without an attorney present beside you.

Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Beaufort Workers Comp Lawyer!

The first thing to do after getting medical attention for your workplace injuries is getting in touch with a Beaufort workers comp lawyer at McDougall Law Firm. The attorney will analyze the circumstances of your accident and advise you on what to say and sign when the insurance company gets in touch with you.

Start your workers comp claim process without mistakes that could hurt your chance of getting benefits. Call us today to schedule a free case review at 843-920-5705!