For over 30 years I have been representing injured workers in workers compensation proceedings and there are some basic errors that injured workers make time and time again.
First, it is common for injured workers to ignore a serious injury for a day or even for a couple of days. This can be a serious mistake because the workers compensation insurance company will often deny a claim that is not promptly reported to an employer.
Second, the injured worker will delay going to an doctor for his/her injury. This can be a serious error because the longer you wait the harder it is for the doctor to establish a causal link between the accident and the injury.
Third, the insurance company will often want to take a recorded statement from the worker right after the injury. Giving this statement without legal advice can result in the loss of a legitimate claim.
Fourth, the injured worked will not follow the guidelines set by the doctor. This can be a serious error. For example, if the doctor specifies certain lifting restrictions and these are violated by the injured worker it can result in loss of benefits.
Fifth, the injured worker will be asked to take a drug test often right after the injury. A failure of this drug test can result in termination of employment and loss of compensation. Often, injured workers do not know that marijuana can still in one system for weeks after smoking resulting in a postive drug test.
Sixth, the injured worker who has a serious injury fails to consult an experienced workers compensation lawyer.
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Gerald G. Lutkenhaus, Attorney at Law, in Central Virginia. In the July 1999 issue of Richmond Magazine he was recognized as the Best Attorney for Workers Compensation in Central Virginia. In 2003 he received Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating of AV.
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