The Importance of Credibility in a Workers Compensation Claim

Credibility plays a key role in the decisions of the administrative judges and if they feel that yours is questionable your appeal may be denied.

kansas city workers compensation legal case

Reporting a work injury immediately is a critical step in receiving compensation. Failing to do this could cost you your rightful claim. You do have the opportunity to fight a denial that is based on this but make sure you have evidence that the accident was reported or a very good reason why it was not. Credibility plays a key role in the decisions of the administrative judges and if they feel that yours is questionable your appeal may be denied. If you are unsure if you still have the right to seek compensation or need to appeal a denial, speak with a Kansas City workers compensation attorney before proceeding by yourself.

Small Details Are Important

Even the smallest of workplace accidents should be recorded, and you as an employee should make sure that the management team has a detailed written report of any incident you were involved in, even if the injury is not severe.  You may think you are fine, only to find months later that the accident caused a latent back injury that took time to present itself.  Having that record of the accident may allow you to still seek compensation for your injury.

Not every workplace accident is going to take place in front of a group of witnesses.  If you are alone when the accident occurs try to call someone to you.  If that is not possible make sure that you immediately find a supervisor and not only report the accident but request that an accident form be filled out.  Details may be necessary later on that you might have a hard time recalling.  A written statement will help.  It will also deter an employer from trying to say that no accident occurred if there is a written record of it.

Not having an accident report to refer to can be a challenge for a workers compensation lawyer. Your case can quickly turn into a conflicting version of events that will have to be sorted out by the administrative judges.  They will appreciate hard evidence, but in the absence of any will have to rely on your credibility versus the employer to make their decision.

Why It Is Important

This issue came into play for a fast food restaurant employee.  She slipped and fell at the end of her closing shift when no supervisors were on site.  Even though she verbally told her employer about the incident the next day she didn’t insist on it being written down.  As a result, when her claim was denied for medical treatment of a neck injury she had no choice but to appeal the decision.  It came down to her word against the supervisors.  Reading the notes of the administrative judges overseeing this hearing you see that their decision was partly based on credibility, and the employee’s difficulty in recalling details of the accident.

Kansas City Workers Compensation Lawyer

The moments following an accident can be confusing and painful.  It is likely that you will not remember every detail.  Insisting on a written report will give you the upper hand if your employer tries to deny that the accident occurred.  In the event that you do need to appeal a decision made by your employer don’t attempt it alone.

Ensure that your rights are protected, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (816) 399-3706 or complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.

Updated: August 21, 2019

Leave a Comment