It’s your lawyer’s job to win your case, but you have a larger role than you might think. In short, don’t do these things.


  1. Don’t lie. If you lie to your doctor, your boss, or the insurance company, it can really come back to bite you. Be honest about your injury, including how it happened and the problems it has caused you. Be honest about your level of pain and how the injury affects your day-to-day activities. If you get caught in a lie it will hurt your credibility and it could end your case. Know that insurance companies can use surveillance to check up on people who are claiming a work injury. Also, don’t lie to your attorney. It will make their job more difficult, and if they find out, they might drop your case.
  2. Don’t wait too long. You have 45 days to notify your employer of your work injury, and you have three years to file a claim for benefits. If you were hurt while performing duties related to your job, then there is no reason to delay. Being able to prove that your injury is related to your job is a major part of getting benefits. The more time that goes by, the harder this gets.
  3. Don’t hire the wrong attorney. If you hire someone who doesn’t handle work injury claims, then they might not be able to do the best job for you. Instead, we recommend finding someone who handles claims day in and day out. Also, make sure they are respected by other attorneys, insurance companies and the arbitrators who decide disputes in workers’ compensation claims. If your benefits are stopped, for example, someone who knows what they’re doing can file for an immediate hearing and get things started right away.
  4. Don’t trust the insurance company. If a representative of the insurance company calls you up and asks you to give a recorded statement, even if their motives seem benign, you should politely decline. If a nurse case manager offers to come with you to your doctor’s appointments, then you should definitely decline. The insurance company is the one paying your benefits, so we get that you want to please them and help move things along, but be careful. We say this a lot, but the best way to handle the insurance company is to have them go through your attorney.
  5. Don’t give up. The insurance company, for one, would love to see you just give up. Sometimes they delay for this very reason. But the law is on your side if your injury was truly caused by your job. It’s unfortunate that anyone would have to fight for benefits that the law clearly says they get, but that is the reality.

On a positive note, injured workers are entitled to 100% coverage of medical bills, payment for some of their lost wages and other benefits if their injury is caused by their job. These are important benefits, and they are attainable. Just beware of the pitfalls.