Recently been in an accident at work that resulted in some type of injury? Was it your employers’ fault? Or, were you in an unexpected accident that happened at your place of work that wasn’t anyone’s fault, like slipping down the stairs or tripping over something you didn’t see in time?
Whatever the reason for your accident or injury, workers’ compensation should be at the top of your mind in that moment, and for the following few months as you navigate unending paperwork, doctors’ appointments, and meetings with your human resources department to try and untangle the mess you’ve gotten in.
What else should be on your to-do list after an injury at work? Making an appointment with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Here’s the top ten reasons why you need to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer right now.
- If your injury is severe.
If you’ve undergone a severe injury at work or at the fault of your employer, and it’s severe enough to require surgery, extensive treatment or ongoing physical or occupational therapy then you need to hire an attorney immediately.
- If you want someone on your side during the lengthy, and sometimes complicated workers’ compensation process.
The process for getting compensation for your injury from your insurance company and your employer can be lengthy, frustrating and downright confusing if you’re not familiar with the process – and you wouldn’t be, unless you’ve had several injuries at work before.
If you want to get through the process successfully and have an advocate who’s there to help you manage the paperwork, sift through medical records and help you document everything that you need to, then you’ll want to hire an attorney.
- If you don’t think you can go back to work.
If your injuries are bad enough that you don’t believe you can return to work, then you absolutely need an attorney there to help you get what you need from your former company. Your career is a part of your life – and when you lose that part of your life, that’s a significant loss to you and your family. Your financial security is in question, you could experience depression and other psychological trauma from the combination of the loss of work and the accident, and other related issues.
- If your medical benefits were denied by your insurance.
If your claim has been denied, you’ll want to hire an attorney to help you appeal the decision and get the benefits that you deserve. Sometimes, insurance companies just deny claims for any reason at all. A lawyer can spot those instances and help you work through it.
- If your employer tries to control which doctors you see.
If your employer insists that you see a certain doctor during your medical examinations or treatments, you need to call a lawyer immediately. Under no circumstances should you see a doctor that your employer is “making” you see – this is not something that they’re entitled to make you do.
- If your employer is retaliating against you or discriminating against you because of the claim.
If you find yourself being demoted, fired, or having your pay reduced during the process of getting your workers’ compensation benefits, you need to hire a lawyer to represent you in court. Your company cannot legally discriminate against you or retaliate against you because of your claim, so it’s vital to have a legal representative by your side when you start dealing with this type of behavior from your employer.
- If you have a pre-existing condition.
If you have a pre-existing condition that exists before the time of the accident, you should consider hiring a lawyer so that they can best represent you and make sure that your benefits cover anything that affects that condition.
Or, if you have a pre-existing injury that you’ve had, and is medically documented that you’ve had, before the injury occurs, especially if the same part of your body has been injured. For example, if you have an old back injury from an unrelated incident, and your injury at work affects your back. That’s something you’ll want to alert your lawyer to.
- If your compensation benefits aren’t being paid in full.
If you find yourself getting less than the expected amount for your workers’ compensation, that’s something that you won’t want to deal with by yourself. In fact, that’s a serious offense by the insurance company, and potentially your employer as well, and it’ll be important for you to have a lawyer by your side as you get through the process of getting the benefits you deserve. This could happen if the insurance company is refusing to pay certain amounts that they’re required to, such as for surgeries, emergency room visits, or therapies related to the injury that you incurred at work. If this happens, you will want legal representation.
- If your injuries are bad enough that you can’t return to work at your former capacity.
If you used to work 12-hour shifts three days a week before your injury, and your doctor says that you can only work five hours at a time, two days a week, and not at the same capacity that you did before the injury, then you need to hire a lawyer to help you navigate the process of going back to work. This is something you’ll need to work out with your employer, and it may result in lost wage recovery.
- 10.If you feel your life has been permanently altered by the injury.
Many people who experience a serious injury at work feel that their life will never be the same after the injury. If this is true for you, then you need to hire a lawyer who can help you get the settlement you deserve, and the benefits that you need to get you through your recovery.
Want more reasons to hire a lawyer after your accident or injury? Check out this article with more information on why workers’ compensation lawyers are a great decision.