After you suffer a workplace injury or accident, even if it was your own fault, you should be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits. You should also be able to trust that your employer will be supportive of you and honest when reporting what happened to their insurance provider. Yet, this is not always the case.
What can you do if your employer isn’t on your side? What do you do if they lie about your workplace accident when reporting it to their insurer? While this can be incredibly disheartening, it is not the end of your workers’ compensation claim. With some preparation – and the help of a good workers’ compensation attorney – you can still make things right.
Do This If Your Employer Lies
First and foremost, you need to tell your employer or supervisor about your workplace accident as soon as possible. If you wait too long to report it, then it raises the suspicion that you might have intentionally caused it or that it never happened. Perhaps more importantly, waiting too long could prevent you from getting any workers’ comp benefits due to your state’s statute of limitations.
Secondly, see a doctor after your workplace accident. Your employer likely has one chosen for you to see as part of their workers’ comp insurance policy. Make note of the doctor you see and ask them about getting a copy of your updated medical record either sent to you or your primary care physician. Your HIPAA rights should allow you access to your own medical records, even if they are created by a medical provider you don’t normally see. You may be required to pay a small processing fee to get a copy, though.
Thirdly, talk to your coworkers who saw or might have seen your accident. Validate what happened through their testimonies. Do not be afraid to ask them to give a written statement about what they saw.
Basically, you will be creating your own account and evidence of what happened in case your employer tells something differently to their insurer. If they misconstrue the truth to make it seem like you intentionally hurt yourself at work, then the insurer can deny the claim.
Why Would Your Employer Lie?
A dishonest employer might try to bend or conceal the truth from their workers’ compensation insurance provider for their own gain. Like car insurance, monthly premiums for workers’ comp insurance can increase whenever the insurance provider has to make a payout. The more times your employer has to file a workers’ comp claim, the more likely they will pay more and more for that coverage.
It can even get to the point that the insurance company drops your employer as a policyholder because of an overabundance of filings. Without any insurance coverage, your employer could need to close their doors until they get a new insurance provider. Out of fear of this worst-case scenario, an employer may choose to do the wrong thing and lie about what happened when reporting the accident.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
When you have any confirmation that your employer has lied about your workplace accident, you should reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. Using their guidance and legal insight, they can navigate you through the newly complicated case and explore ways to hold your employer accountable.
If you live in Chicago, Illinois, you can call (312) 487-2461 to connect with McHargue & Jones, LLC. Our attorneys are standing by to hear from you and discuss what you should do next.