Workplace injuries can be daunting, often leading to hefty medical bills, prolonged physical therapy, and lost wages. In 2020 alone, there were 2.7 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While workers’ compensation benefits are designed to offset these expenses, navigating through the process can be challenging. This is where a workers’ compensation attorney can make a difference.
Why You Should Seek a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Most people are often skeptical about hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, questioning the necessity and the cost. However, the reality is, these professionals play a pivotal role in securing your benefits. You can click here to learn more about how to contact the right attorney and why you should hire one.
Ensuring Correct Paperwork
A workers’ compensation lawyer ensures that all the necessary paperwork is correctly filled and filed within the stipulated time. A minor error can lead to a denial of your claim.
Securing Full Benefits
The lawyer ensures that you receive all the benefits you are entitled to, and that these benefits continue as long as necessary. Studies show that injured workers who hire a workers’ compensation attorney generally receive more money for their claim than workers who choose to go it alone.
If your claim is denied, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can handle the appeal process. In many cases, the worker is successful on appeal when an experienced attorney handles their case.
A workers’ compensation attorney represents your interests during discussions with insurance companies and the workers’ compensation board. This allows you to focus on recovery rather than legalities.
Leveling the Field
Most employers and insurance companies have a team of skilled attorneys to ensure they do not have to pay compensation claims unless absolutely necessary. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney ensures you have the same level of legal representation and support.
When You Should Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
There are numerous situations where consulting a workers’ compensation attorney can be a strategic move. These include:
- Pre-existing Condition: If you have any pre-existing health condition, it may be used as a basis to deny your compensation.
- Employer Denies Injury: Your employer may refuse to acknowledge your injury occurred in the workplace or due to your work duties.
- Benefits Denied or Delayed: Even if your benefits have been denied or delayed, you can appeal or seek other legal remedies.
- Inadequate Benefits: In some cases, your benefits may not cover all of your lost wages and medical bills.
- Serious or Permanent Injury: If your injury is severe or long-term, your employer or their insurance company may refuse compensate you in full.
- Potential Third Party Claim: If a defective tool or piece of machinery caused your injuries, you can file a claim against the manufacturer.
- Workplace Retaliation: If your employer is retaliating against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should consult an attorney immediately.
- Disagreement about Ability to Work: If your employer or their insurer claims you can go back to work with modified work duties to reduce, suspend or minimize your benefits, you need legal advice.
- Disputes about Coverage: If your employer claims you’re not eligible for Workers’ Compensation, an attorney can evaluate your situation.
- Employer Lacks Insurance: If your employer has never secured insurance for you even though they’re required by law to do so, you may still qualify for compensation.
- Accusation of Fraud: If your employer or their insurer claims you aren’t actually injured or you are trying to game the system, it’s crucial to contact an attorney.
What a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Does
A workers’ compensation attorney helps secure evidence that your work caused your injury or condition, obtains medical documentation to prove your injury, ensures you fill out paperwork correctly and on time, and answers any questions you have about the workers’ compensation process. They also advocate for you if your claim is denied or delayed, prepare you for discussions with an insurer or any appearance before a judge, and help you evaluate any settlement offers.
Cost and Payment
Most workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they are not paid until they collect money for you on your claim. This ensures you are not out of pocket, and you don’t have to worry about fees unless they get results. Typically, they charge 20% of the benefits preserved or earned for you.
Workers’ compensation attorneys are instrumental in ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve. They navigate the complex legal landscape, represent your interests, and level the playing field against insurance companies and employers. Despite the cost, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney often results in higher compensation and a smoother claims process.