How and When to Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer. What You Need to Know
Have you been injured recently or suffered illness as a result of a work-related incident? Did your workplace environment create the situation or was there negligence of a third party that caused your injury? If you’ve suffered financial issues as a result of such damages and there is no pre-existing condition, workers’ compensation should pay for your claim. When it doesn’t, that’s when you need a little help from a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Workers’ compensation lawyers, as the name implies, are in the business of helping workers to get compensation for an injury or illness that results from a workplace situation. This may include injuries or illness that happen on the physical property of a business, but it may involve those that occur off of the property such as in a company vehicle or other work-related scenario.
What is a work-related injury?
First, it’s important to define what constitutes a work-related injury. There are sometimes situations that may seem to be work-related but are not. This is where you need help in analyzing your situation to see if it is a workers’ compensation situation. The key is that you should be able to say that, were it not for your work situation in which the accident or injury occurred, you would not have suffered the injury at all.
Negligence does not have to be present in workers’ compensation cases. It’s all a matter of whether your employer cooperates with you regarding your injury and whether they deny or approve your workers’ compensation claim.
Should I do it myself?
In many cases, your injury may be so slight that you don’t see a need to do anything other than to file the workers’ compensation claim. In cases where you suffered a minor injury such as a sprained ankle or a cut that requires a few stitches, you can probably handle the situation yourself.
If your employer is helpful in approving your claim, you need to take no further action. If the compensation you receive covers all of your injury and expenses that are related to the incident, you should not have to do anything else.
When to Hire a Lawyer
If your employer denies your claim, your medical expenses are more expensive than you thought they would be at the onset or other factors, you may need to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney. They can represent your case in small claims court, if necessary. In many cases, you may be able to settle your case out of court on an agreed-upon amount to help you with your expenses.
Do remember, though, that there are some valid reasons for employers to deny your claims. This is why you need an attorney, to decide which denials are legal and which are not.
If you missed work more than a few days, this is another time that you may need the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney. Every day missed that is outside of paid sick days is a day that you are losing money. When you miss work and don’t get paid for the days out due to the injury or illness, you may be entitled to compensation for missed payments.
Partial Coverage Issues
Most of the time, an employer will usually approve a claim for the basic compensation such as for a first-time doctor or emergency visit or some days of missed work. The problem is when the injury is discovered to be more extreme than once believed or when you have continuing illness or injury as a result of the incident.
In such cases, you need to get help from a workers’ compensation attorney so that you will be able to get compensation for all of the expenses including extra medical expenditures from treatments or medication, as well as the additional lost wages if you miss more days of work.
Workers’ compensation settlements must be signed off by a Judge, but the judge will usually sign off on them, provided the solution is fair to both parties. If your medical issues keep you from returning to your previous job or limit you from doing such a job in the future, you may be entitled to a substantial settlement.
Insurance companies do not always want to pay substantial claims that last for more than a few weeks or months. However, there may be cases where your injury is bad enough that it affects your performance at work for years. If this is the case, you may be eligible for a lump sum payment or monthly payments that involve a considerable sum. If an insurance company through your place of work denies your claim, that’s when you need to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney.
How does this affect my Social Security disability benefits?
If you plan to apply for Social Security disability benefits in the future, your workers’ compensation benefits could lower your benefits from the SSA office. You need to have an understanding of this process and the law as it involves Social Security benefits and workers’ comp benefits. This is where an attorney can help you. They can work with you and apply the law in such a way that the settlement you get from workers’ compensation so that it will not offset your Social Security benefits.
If your boss retaliates against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim through firing, demotions, or other means, you may have a case of discrimination. Contact an attorney immediately in any of these cases to look at your options that protect your rights in such cases.
Also, if you have been injured by a third party’s actions on the job, you can get compensation as a result of negligence in this case. This may involve a driving accident that was caused by a third party or someone else who caused your injury that is work-related.
What an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can do for you
If you need the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer, you can contact an experienced attorney to get started. They will perform the following actions for you:
- File the necessary forms and paperwork required
- Make sure you meet all filing deadlines
- Gather and document evidence to support your case
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Write settlement proposals to avoid unforeseen consequences
These are the main functions of a workers’ compensation attorney. They may also represent you in a hearing or trial if you have to take civil action against the defendant or an employer or insurance company in such a case.
It is important to document all expenses such as time off from work and doctor’s visits and other issues, so that you have solid proof of your expenses due to the work-related injury.
How to Win Your Case for Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation system is set up in such a way that you receive fair compensation for your on-the-job injury. This should be done promptly so that you do not have to wait too long to receive your funds. The main objective is to restore your financial situation to normalcy before the incident so that you are again making money and that you receive adequate funding to provide for medical and other expenses from loss of work time and other situations.
This is ideal, but the workers’ compensation system does not always work in favor of the employee. That’s why, regardless of the attorneys that claim to help you at your place of work, you should hire your attorney to handle your case just in case you need them. You need someone in your corner who has your best intentions in mind and who will work tirelessly to get you the results you need.
No one likes to sue anyone especially when it involves your employer. But sometimes it is necessary to afford to recoup the financial losses from your time away from work as well as medical expenses and other setbacks that result from the work-related injury.
Remember, the key is showing the work situation caused your injury and your attorney has to show it was not negligence on your part. They can help. Contact an attorney today who specializes in work-related compensation cases. Get what you deserve if you were harmed by the negligence of others or if a work-related situation caused your injury.
After all, it’s only fair.