Things To Not Do After A Workers’ Comp Settlement

workers comp

You were injured on the job recently and received a workers’ compensation settlement covering your medical bills and partial wages during your recovery. However, there are several things you should not do after your workers’ comp settlement. Below are critical mistakes to avoid. If you have questions about your settlement, our Milwaukee workers’ comp lawyers at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf can help.

Ignoring Your Doctor’s Instructions

Your workers’ comp benefits in Wisconsin depend on the doctor that diagnoses your injuries, recommends treatments, and decides the work and activities you can do as you recover.

The doctor who treats you for injuries will provide a treatment plan for you to reach maximum medical improvement. Even if you disagree with the treatment plan, you must attend your appointments. If you do not go, your benefits could be suspended.

Similarly, if the treating doctor says you can return to ‘light duty work,’ your employer will probably call you back for work. It is essential not to ignore their request, which could cause problems with your benefits. If you are not ready to return to work because of your injury, talk to your doctor.

Not Paying Attention to Pain

Your treating doctor may have you go back to work doing reduced duties. You must listen to your body. You can get a second opinion if you have a lot of pain on the job. Under Wisconsin law, you have a right to get a second medical opinion about your injury, but there are specific actions you must take.

Taking A Part-Time Job to Replace Lost Income

You may only receive part of your regular wages during the recovery period. So, taking a part-time job to get more money can be tempting. However, you should know that workers’ compensation insurance companies watch for this. Your workers’ comp benefits are intended to supplant the money you cannot earn while hurt.

Doing any side work while you are on workers’ compensation is not recommended. It can affect your claim and even lead to a fraud charge. In addition, it is not unusual for workers’ compensation insurance companies to employ private investigators to look for people doing side work.

Don’t Sign A Comprehensive Medical Release

Your insurance provider may ask you to sign a release that gives them access to your personal health records. However, they are only entitled under the law to get records reasonably related to your work injury. Therefore, you should only sign authorizations for providers where you were treated for a work injury or any injury to the same body part in the past. If you are unsure, have any legal documents you are asked to sign reviewed by a workers’ compensation attorney.

Doing More Activities Than Your Doctor Recommends

You may receive workers’ compensation benefits, but it can ruin your claim if the insurance company catches you doing things the doctor says you cannot do. The insurance company may or may not hire a PI to watch you. But they will almost always watch your social media posts. They may try to cancel your compensation if you are getting money for a workplace injury and it looks like you are not injured.

This means being careful about going on vacation while taking workers’ compensation. Make sure that you do not miss your doctor’s appointments. If you take a vacation, do not engage in activities that violate your work restrictions.

Relying On The Insurance Company To Calculate Your Benefits

You are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly earnings in a Wisconsin workers’ compensation claim, up to a maximum state-wide wage. The calculation should include your compensation for overtime, fringe benefits, and more. It is common for insurance companies to guess the weekly compensation rate based on your hourly wages. But this could cause an underpayment. So make sure you receive every dime to which you are entitled. This may mean having your case reviewed by a workers’ comp attorney.

Settling A Workers’ Compensation Claim Without An Attorney

Your employer’s insurance provider will probably want you to sign a settlement claim quickly. However, you should always have a Milwaukee workers’ compensation attorney review the claim at no charge.

Remember, the employer and insurance company want you to be working as soon as possible and the case resolved. However, they want to pay as little as possible, so the settlement agreement you sign might not be in your best interests. Have an attorney review your workers’ compensation claim to determine if they can help you get a better deal.

Walking Away From Your Job

Your company is incentivized to get you back to work after being injured. They do not have to pay benefits if they give you a job within your doctor’s restrictions. However, your employer may attempt to force you to do a job that you cannot do with your current limitations. Or, they could assign you to work far below your regular job.

If these things happen to you, quitting your job is never a good idea. You will forfeit your workers’ compensation benefits. Your best bet is to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney about this problem. The attorney is only compensated if they win the case. You also should consider hiring an attorney in these circumstances:

  • The employer disputes that you are injured.
  • The medical record does not strongly support your claim.
  • You have a permanent or life-changing injury.
  • The claim was denied, and you want to appeal.
  • You were offered a settlement that you think is too low.

Contact Our Milwaukee Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

If you are hurt on the job, filing a workers’ comp claim is often a good choice. But should you do it on your own? There are many things you could do that could negatively affect your claim.

That is why many injured employees rely on our Milwaukee workers’ comp lawyers to help get the most money while recovering from their injuries. Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Milwaukee are ready to help. Contact our Milwaukee workers’ comp lawyers by calling 414-257-2667 today at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf for help with your workers’ comp claim.

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