In any legal matter, organized and detailed record-keeping is a key element. If you were injured at work, you should keep that in mind as you move forward with the process of filing your workers’ compensation claim. Properly managing your records can increase your chances of the case going smoothly, which can help ensure you achieve a favorable result. Of course, not everyone is always certain which records are crucial and necessary, especially those who have never been involved in this type of matter before.
We have compiled a list of some records you should consider keeping for your workers’ compensation case:
- Mileage and other out of pocket expenses: Being injured means you are probably going to spend a fair amount of time going to and from a variety of medical appointments. Workers’ compensation can reimburse you for these travel expenses, which can also include public transportation, parking, or bridge tolls. However, in order to claim these benefits, you are expected to keep track of your mileage to any appointments related to your medical treatment, such as physical therapy appointments or independent medical examinations. Make sure that you include the date, your starting address, the destination address, roundtrip mileage, and other out of pocket expenses you incurred.
- Time off work: When workers’ are temporarily unable to work due to injuries sustained on the job, they might be able to receive temporary disability benefits, which are generally about two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage. If you are able to take on light duty work, but earning less than you made prior to your injury, partial temporary disability benefits are also available. Even though your time off from work will likely be recorded in both your medical records and in your employer’s records, it would still be wise to keep track of these dates in your own personal notes as well. In the event of any errors, you can always refer back to your own records and make sure you received a benefit check for every week you had to take off from work. If you have to give testimony at a deposition or a workers’ compensation hearing, you can also use your notes to refresh your memory and to ensure your statements are accurate.
- Your claim: Some of the most vital records you keep will be those that directly relate to your workers’ compensation claim. It can serve as important evidence later on if your employer or their insurance company disputes your claim. Some of the documents you should keep copies of include accident reports, claim forms, reports from your doctor, contact for information for any witnesses, all correspondence between you and your employer or their insurance company, your acceptance or denial letter from the insurance company, and all forms you filed with the state workers’ compensation agency. Make sure that you also keep notes of any phone conversations you have with your employer’s insurance company regarding your claim, including the date, the name of the person you spoke with, what he or she told you, and how or if you followed up with the conversation.
- Pain journal: Of course, a workers’ compensation claim is not like a personal injury claim, so keeping a pain journal in a case like this is not for the purpose of keeping track of pain and suffering, for which personal injury victims can receive compensation. That does not mean keeping a pain journal will not add any value to your case, however. In a workers’ compensation claim, keeping a pain diary and show the severity of your injuries and how it affects your ability to work. If you no longer have full use of a limb, for example, you should make a note of it. Your doctor can assign a permanent disability rating and this will ultimately translate into a monetary award. In cases where you anticipate that an insurance company might dispute the severity of your injury, a pain journal could be particularly useful.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Marietta & Cobb County
If you sustained an injury in a workplace accident, regardless of who is at fault, you could be entitled to important workers’ compensation benefits. At Chestnut & Beller, our team of Marietta and Cobb County workers’ compensation attorneys is committed to protecting your rights throughout every step of the process to ensure you receive the benefits that you deserve.
For the custom-tailored and attentive representation you deserve, call us today at (770) 285-5542 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.