If you or someone you love has been injured on the job or suffers from a job-related chronic illness chances are you’re wondering about your rights, what to do next, how to get the right medical care, and how you will protect your family and pay the bills. At Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. we believe information is power – and we love sharing it. If you want to learn how to win your workers’ compensation case, it starts with learning the basics of Workers’ Compensation.
In regard to Workers’ Compensation claims insurance companies know a lot of tricks. They want you to get frustrated and quit, eventually settling for less than you deserve, or nothing at all. If you want things to go as quickly and smoothly as possible – and take our word for it, you do – following are some hints that will help move things along and ensure a greater chance of success.
1) If you were injured at work or are sick because of work, see a doctor immediately. This is what you need to do in order to start improving your health, but it is also a necessary step for your worker’s compensation claim should you decide to file one. Whatever your doctor says to do, follow their advice. Your top priority is getting better. Schwartzapfel® Lawyers can handle the rest.
2) As soon as possible, talk with a workers’ compensation attorney or firm that specializes in New York workers’ compensation cases. There are limits to when you can file a case, so don’t miss out because you failed to file in time.
3) Help your attorney win your case. Yes, a good firm like ours will be there for you, but we want you to be involved as well so you are comfortable and updated. Feel free to ask questions when we brief you about your case. Our attorneys will spend as much time as you need explaining the law, your rights and next steps.
4) Don’t focus only on your diagnosis. Remember to document symptoms and the ways they interfere with your life. The underpinning of your claim is the careful and complete documentation of your symptoms.
5) Be specific when describing symptoms. This means quantifying your issues in concrete and complete ways. It’s not enough to say that you are tired all the time and in pain. Everybody feels fatigue and pain from time to time. However, if you are so sick that you cannot get out of bed for two straight days even with medication, you have just made it much more clear why you cannot work.
6) Get your medical records and read them thoroughly. This is the only way to know that your doctor has been accurately portraying your symptoms and is providing a clear and accurate diagnosis. Also, keep in mind that doctors’ handwriting isn’t always legible, which can be a problem for a judge trying to decide a case. If need be, take it up with your doctor – nicely, of course.
7) Log your symptoms and limitations. Maybe you are one of those people who can instantly recall everything that happened for the past three weeks. Most people can’t. So when symptoms occur, immediately write down what they feel like, how often they happen, as well as their frequency, severity, and duration. It doesn’t have to be long, just thorough.
8) Tell the whole truth. This is where your diary will help. Instead of replying with a generic, “pretty good,” when your doctor asks how you are doing, you will have a specific list.
9) Find an attorney with experience and a great record. When something is both important and complicated, you want somebody good on your side. Don’t be shy about asking prospective firms about their record of success, what the costs will be, exactly how they would handle your case, and how much experience they have with your specific issues. Experience is a difference-maker for a variety of reasons. For example, experienced attorneys know experts who can testify effectively and convincingly to make a difference in your case.
10) If there is a third party involved, immediately consult with an attorney. With the involvement of a third party, you may be able to collect more money. Protect your rights. However, third party claims and subsequent liens add complexity to many cases. If you have any questions about what constitutes a third party cases or how they work, contact us immediately.
Contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C.
If you have been injured while on the job and are pursuing a workers’ compensation case – and/or a third party claim – contact the offices of Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. today. Call us at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for immediate attention to your case.