Truth and honesty should be the pillar of strength in your workers’ compensation case. You were hurt at work. You have nothing to hide. Disclosing prior medical conditions, prior work injuries, and prior accidents only strengthens your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. Failure to disclose prior conditions or injuries can destroy your case before it even starts.
Be truthful to who?
First and foremost, be sure to report the work injury immediately. It is imperative that you are truthful when reporting a work injury. Don’t hide details. Just explain what happened that caused your injury. Do not exaggerate details or your symptoms. Doing these things may lead to a denial of your claim. Be sure to request an injury report. Finally, after reporting the work injury, do not talk to your co-workers about the injury. Although you may not expect it, they could be called by the employer as fact witnesses against you. Avoid sending text message to your employer and supervisor. They can also be used in a workers’ compensation hearing.
The Insurance Company
More than likely after you report a work injury you will be contacted by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Again, the same advice above is applicable here. A word of caution, if the insurance carrier requests a recorded statement, you should contact Mooney Law right away before doing so. Regardless, you will be asked about prior medical conditions involving the body part you injured. Do not lie or hide. Pre-existing conditions or prior injuries ARE NOT a bar to workers’ compensation benefits. The insurance carrier will request medical records and will find out. If you deny prior conditions of injuries, it undermines your credibility and will lead to a denial of your claim. Remember, the insurance adjuster is not your friend.
Failing to disclose details of your injury, prior medical conditions, and prior injuries to me puts me at a tremendous disadvantage in fighting for your workers’ compensation rights and benefits. I can only provide the most effective representation for you if you are upfront and honest with me. I cannot stress this enough. Being dishonest or hiding details with me causes a breakdown in representation.
If your case eventually goes into litigation, your doctor may have to testify about your injury, condition, and treatment. More than likely each medical provider you treat with will ask if you had any prior symptoms or treatment with regards to your injured body part. Disclose everything, even if it was ten years ago. If you fail to do so, your doctor will be asked by the attorney for the insurance carrier about your prior conditions or injuries. If your doctor was unaware, it significantly harms your case. This advice goes for ALL medical providers, including employer panel doctors.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge
Finally, and it should go without saying, but failing to disclose or lying about prior conditions or injuries in front of the Workers’ Compensation Judge will torpedo your case. Being open, upfront, and honest is noted by Judges in their decisions. Likewise, being dishonest in your testimony is a sure way to lose your case. Once you lie to a Judge, it is hard for me to repair your credibility.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, avoid the many pit falls that await an injured worker. Call Mooney Law today for an absolutely FREE consultation. Your right and entitlement to benefits are too important. Mooney Law has obtained tens of millions of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. Call us today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. For more information visit our website at Mooney4Law.com.