Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Delaware

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in DelawareWere you injured on the job in Delaware and unsure of the workers’ compensation process? The attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman discuss the process of filing a claim and the importance of having experienced representation on your side Contact us in Newark, Seaford, or Wilmington to get started.

It is not enough to simply qualify for workers’ compensation when you are injured on the job. There is a dangerous assumption that it is a program that kicks in automatically, or entirely behind the scenes, and this is patently false. Believing that can mean preventing yourself from receiving the full — or any — monetary awards you are eligible for.

Understanding the process of filing a Delaware workers’ compensation claim

While your employer is who will be filing the actual claim for your workers’ compensation, there are still steps you must take to put this into motion. For your claim to be approved and your benefits application accepted, you should pursue the first three steps as quickly as possible:

  1. Notify your employer of your injury or occupational illness as soon as possible. For injuries that do not present immediate symptoms or concerns, your timeline starts as soon as you receive a diagnosis from a doctor.
  2. Not only do you need to notify your employer of your actual ailment, but you also need to notify them if it keeps you from working in any way. This preserves your right to lost wages.
  3. See a licensed doctor as soon as you can, even if the injury or ailment doesn’t seem “that severe.” Attend any and all future appointments they request of you without fail.

The importance of evidence in workers’ compensation cases

Above anything else, your first priority after a workplace injury should be yourself and your recovery. One of the many benefits of hiring an attorney is having someone else do the important legwork while you focus on resting. That being said, there are some important tasks your attorney cannot do for you that are essential to building a winning case. The good news is they are relatively passive, and mostly require documenting and understanding as much as you can along the way. It is sad to consider that your employer may likely try to lie or “misremember” events, but it is true — and it is always better to build a case that is too strong rather than too weak.

To help yourself as much as possible as you work on recovery, follow these tips:

  • Make sure you understand what benefits for which you’re eligible. This is, of course, something your attorney can go over with you. Depending on your injuries and the extent to which they disable you, you may be eligible for both temporary disability benefits or permanent disability benefits, along with compensation for all medical treatments, vocational rehabilitation, and transportation (for workers’ comp-related travel). The more you are entitled to, the likelier your employer and their insurance may try to resist or lowball.
  • Keep copies of every doctor’s note, diagnosis, prescription, and any other paperwork related to the case. We recommend contacting your employer via email and keeping physical copies of each letter, as well as copies of anything from the insurance company. Everything is considered evidence, and not having enough of it can result in your claim being denied. It is your right by law to collect your own medical records for your case.
  • Look out for possible surveillance by private investigators. Insurance companies may hire them to, essentially, make sure you aren’t “faking” anything. They are notoriously intrusive and will try to twist the most innocuous scene into something more sinister.

Regardless of how your accident happened, you are entitled to compensation if it was on the clock. As a victim, it can be tempting to try to avoid the court as much as possible so you can focus on rest, but these benefits ensure you can afford to do so. They are yours, and they can truly make all the difference when your medical bills climb up into the high thousands — especially if your injuries involve a permanent disability.

Do I need a Delaware workers’ compensation lawyer to represent me?

Legally, you never need a lawyer. Workers’ compensation can be incredibly complex, however, even though it’s meant to help people like you, and that means it is all too easy for experienced employers to hire their own attorneys and take advantage of your layman’s knowledge. Your attorney can answer all your questions in real time, make sure the proper forms have been submitted on both sides, and make sure your case is as airtight as possible.

At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware workers’ compensation attorneys take pride in helping our clients navigate the process and advocating for them when employers refuse to pay the full extent of what they owe. Insurance companies and employers alike do not want to take responsibility, and they are counting on your inexperience with workers’ compensation law to take advantage of you.

They do not have to win. When you hire aggressive representation as quickly as possible and take the right steps to protect your case, you make it harder for the opposition to loophole their way out of paying your benefits. We can help you understand your rights, and know you do not have to do any of it alone.

At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we put you first. That’s why you don’t pay us a dime unless we win you the compensation you are owed, so you never have to worry about adding another expense to your life. Our Delaware workers’ compensation attorneys are all about reducing your expenses and maximizing your awards. With offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford, we can help injured citizens all over the state and answer any questions you may have. For a free consultation, call us today at 302-888-2900 or use our contact form.