Despite the majority of workers’ compensation claims not leading to legal disputes, there are certain situations where businesses can gain from legal advice. If you own a business and an employee suffers an injury while on duty, you might ponder whether you need a lawyer’s assistance to handle any workers’ compensation related issues.
These work-related injuries can potentially threaten your business’s financial stability, with numerous parties involved in a single claim. This includes medical professionals, insurance providers, your employee, and the state’s workers’ compensation board. If you’re an employer, you can find more information on R. Alan Cleveland, LLC here, or you can contact a similar lawyer in your area to protect your rights.
However, the silver lining is that small business owners rarely need to employ lawyers for workers’ compensation claims as they seldom result in lawsuits. Additionally, the injured employee is only exercising their right to compensation. The decision of the employee’s eligibility for benefits is primarily taken by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. But on rare occasions, small businesses might contemplate hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Instances When Your Business Might Require a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of workers’ compensation insurance claims are settled without a lawyer’s involvement, there exist situations where small business owners can profit from legal advice:
When Your Employee Contests Your Insurer’s Claim Decision
An employee has the right to dispute your insurer’s decision when a workers’ compensation claim is denied. In such a scenario, the employer’s insurance provider is likely to appoint a lawyer for you.
When Your Employee Renounces Their Right to Benefits
When employees file a workers’ compensation claim, they have to report the incident to the relevant labor authorities in their state. And if an injured employee accepts a settlement package, they generally forfeit the right or intent to sue your business. However, they can outright reject the settlement and opt for litigation. Most workers’ compensation policies carry liability insurance to cover the legal costs associated with filing such a claim.
When Your Business Lacks Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If your business fails to acquire the necessary workers’ compensation coverage for the states in which you operate, you are likely to be contacted by OSHA, in which case it’s prudent to consult with a lawyer. If an employee is injured and your business lacks appropriate insurance, you can be held responsible for medical costs, and you could face state penalties and lawsuits.
Cases Where Your Employee Might Employ a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Though it’s not a common occurrence, employees sometimes hire workers’ compensation lawyers to guide them through the claims process. Employees who engage a lawyer often do so because:
- They don’t comprehend how the claims process functions.
- They want to ensure they are filing the claim correctly.
- They believe a lawyer can help them navigate their case better.
Having candid discussions with employees about their workers’ compensation benefits and providing them with official digital or printed information might reduce the chances of them involving lawyers in a claim. But when they do, it is usually to:
Navigate Local Workers’ Compensation Laws
Each state’s workers’ compensation laws vary. Besides understanding state laws for workers’ compensation, employees must follow the claims process with your insurance company. They may feel more at ease working with an attorney who thoroughly understands the local laws and processes.
Build Their Case
A lawyer will be able to scrutinize the details of a specific workers’ compensation case to ensure an employee receives the appropriate benefits. The lawyer might review medical records to ascertain the extent of the injury in question and might also scrutinize your business’s records to check for any previous safety violations.
Determine a Rightful Benefit
Lawyers assist employees in assessing the cost of their injury or illness to ascertain how much money they should receive. In doing so, attorneys take into account time away from work, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and the type of disability that the employee has incurred.
Lawyers can also counsel employees after your business’s insurance provider decides whether or not to grant benefits. If the insurer denies the claim or offers an unsatisfactory payout, the employee’s lawyer may persuade him or her to appeal the decision. As mentioned earlier, this is a situation where a small business might think about hiring its own workers’ compensation lawyer to negotiate the decision.