The injured employee has to prove just about everything in a workers compensation claim.
If you have a workers’ comp claim and it is denied, you probably understand that it will take some work to win in court. What you might not understand is that you have to keep proving that you have some disability every day that you claim workers’ comp. It doesn’t matter if your case is accepted or denied, it is your responsibility. That is hard to get across to some people who think they are doing everything right in their claims: maybe going to a doctor they didn’t choose, undergoing painful treatments, meeting with nurses, etc. But this is a legal case, and the burden to produce evidence is on the injured worker for most things. Sometimes regular, everyday things that injured workers do will just look bad in court. Injured workers seeking workers’ comp benefits, or wanting to keep the ones they have, ought to keep that in mind too.
JOE JR’S WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM
Joe Jr. drove a bus for five years before he hurt his back. He was injured when he hit an 80-year-old driver who turned left in front of the bus. Joe wasn’t surprised to learn that he would have to bring a lawsuit against the elderly driver’s insurance company. Joe Jr. wasn’t surprised when he was suspended by the bus company after the accident, even though he was not at fault. He figured that the company would follow procedure and take him for a drug test. Joe Jr. knew from what others said that he would have to go to the company doctor for any medical treatment for his back. What he didn’t expect was a form in the mail threatening to cut off his compensation because the insurance company said they’d discovered he was working.
Joe’s dad, Joe Sr., owned a body shop. Joe Jr. was raised working on cars and when his father needed a hand, he lent one. Joe Jr. wasn’t supposed to lift more than 50 pounds, according to the company doctor, and at his dad’s body shop he didn’t even get close to the limit. Joe Jr. liked hanging around with his dad watching TV and using the shop’s computer to look for jobs. He was floored when he finally opened an envelope from a lawyer he’d never heard of, giving him 17 days to respond to the Industrial Commission or have your workers’ comp benefits stopped.
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