If you’ve sustained an injury at work, no matter how small you feel it might be, it’s important to file for workers’ comp. A workers’ compensation claim can help protect your job and pay for any medical expenses or lost wages. In fact, workers’ compensation will pay for 100% of your medical costs, plus cash benefits for lost work time, following a three- to seven-day waiting period. That can make a huge difference for countless employees.

But workers comp claims can be quite complicated. That’s why it’s important to consult with a worker compensation lawyer if you’ve suffered an accident on the job. A workers compensation attorney can help explain all of the rules to you to help you avoid making a mistake with your claim. To that end, here are five common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when filing for workers comp:

    1. Waiting to report
      Virtually every state has a different rule about how long you have to file your claim. In Arizona, you’re given up to a year to file your claim — but that does not mean you should wait that long! In order to protect yourself, you should tell your employer immediately about a work-related injury. If you wait to report, the details of your case could be a lot harder to substantiate. It’s much better to have everything on record as soon as it happens.
    2. Not filing a written report
      Some workers will choose to tell their employer only verbally about the injury they’ve sustained. But doing so will do absolutely nothing to protect you. It’s important that you have a written report of your filing to give to your boss. Be sure to keep a copy for your records, too. That way, your employer can’t claim anything that wasn’t factual.
    3. Failure to seek medical treatment
      Even if you don’t think your injury is serious, it’s important to seek medical care. Failure to do so gives the impression that your injury wasn’t substantial enough to warrant time off from work, which can have a big impact on your claim. Take your injury seriously and seek treatment right away. Be sure to attend all follow-up visits, as well.
    4. Downplaying the incident
      You might be tempted to downplay the accident for the sake of your own pride or for the good of the company. While most employers have their workers’ best interests at heart, there are some who simply don’t want to pay the cost of an insurance increase that will occur as a result of your filing. Some employers may try to manipulate workers into downplaying their injuries or they may even try to convince them not to file. Not only is this behavior illegal, but it can also be harmful to you for the future. If you choose not to file and later find that your injury affects your ability to do your job, you could be fired. What’s more, you deserve compensation for your medical bills and any work you miss. If you think your boss is trying to convince you to not be forthcoming about the incident, talk to a worker compensation lawyer right away.
    5. Not consulting with a workers compensation lawyer
      You may think you’ll be fine going it alone on your claim, you may discover that the process is much more complicated than you’d thought. If you’ve sustained multiple injuries — or have a pre-existing, unrelated condition — you may need help from an experienced worker compensation lawyer to iron out the details. Plus, if you need to appeal your claim, you’ll probably need an attorney. In general, it’s best to consult with an attorney sooner rather than later in order to prevent a big headache.

Don’t risk the chance of making a mistake when it comes to your claim. A skilled worker compensation lawyer can make all the difference. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or simply want to find out more about the filing process, contact us today for a consultation.