Why documentation is important in worker’s compensation claims
Documentation plays a key role in the success of many efforts in New York. For instance, the Internal Revenue Service, when it audits a taxpayer, needs to see documentation backing up claims. Likewise, the success of a worker’s compensation claim often comes down to the quality of documentation.
Pinpoints the origin of a claim
Many worker’s compensation claims do not stem from one obvious triggering event. In fact, some conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, include repetitive motions that cause more and more damage over time. Workers should document when their wrists begin to feel uncomfortable even if it does not yet affect their functioning. This type of documentation helps give a comprehensive overview of a claim right from the beginning.
When possible, workers should gather more than dates and symptoms. Witness statements, client statements and doctor statements can prove invaluable. Some workers even keep a diary or journal of sorts. In it, they narrate what their pain feels like, what they can no longer do, medications they are on and other repercussions from an injury.
Furthermore, some employers and examiners try to use issues such as gender to pay less in worker’s compensation. Wide-ranging documentation helps level the playing field. It can also disprove any allegations that a worker’s compensation claim should, in fact, be under the purview of a pre-existing disability.
Provides medical records
Worker’s compensation claims need official medical information from doctors who can attest, among other things, that an injury is work-related. The sooner this happens, the better. Documentation also helps injured workers get the covered treatment they need as quickly as possible.
Inconsistency is one reason that worker’s compensation claims are denied. For example, suppose that an accident record does not match what a doctor’s record says. If a worker knows from the beginning that thorough and effective documentation is important, he or she is more likely to take accident reports and timely reporting of an injury more seriously.
In short, documentation helps prove the essentials of a worker’s compensation claim. For example, it indicates that the employer operated in the state at the time of the injury, the worker was an employee, the injury was sustained or worsened in the course of doing work
activities, and the employee reported the injury to the employer by the required deadline.
It is possible to get worker’s compensation in New York without going through an attorney. However, the process is complex, and attorneys help ensure that workers have not missed anything and get all they are entitled to, for example, by checking that all documentation is present.