why get lawyer workers comp claim

by Prof. Nikko King 3 min read

A workers' comp attorney can assist you in navigating the system so that you are most likely to receive retraining or monetary payment to assist you while you obtain alternate employment. If any aspect of your claim is in dispute with your employer, or your employer's insurance company, it is important for you to obtain an attorney.

Hiring a workers' comp attorney costs nothing up front (more on that later), and it gives you the best chance to receive a fair settlement or award for your injuries. Your employer's settlement offer doesn't cover all your lost wages or medical bills.

Full Answer

Why hire a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim?

A lawyer can structure your settlement to minimize or eliminate the offset. Your employer retaliates against you – If you are fired, demoted, have your hours cut or are pressured to return to work too soon, a lawyer can argue the penalties are unwarranted.

When to get a lawyer for a Workers Comp case?

When You Should Get a Lawyer for Workers Compensation As soon as you decide to contest the settlement decision. At that point, workers compensation can quickly turn into a legal jungle of paperwork, deadlines, depositions and evidence gathering. It’s easy to get lost if you don’t know what you’re doing. What an Attorney Will Do for You

Where do workers'comp attorneys work?

Workers' comp attorneys work in an office environment, often employed in a law firm or in a corporate legal department. Frequent travel to hearings, arbitrations, depositions, and job sites can be required.

How much does a workers'comp lawyer cost?

Additionally, many states place caps on contingency fees in workers' comp cases. The percentage varies from state to state, but is generally between 15% and 25%. However, the fee can be as low as 10% and as high as 33% in some states. (For more information about fees, see our article on how much it costs to hire a workers' comp lawyer .)

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Why do you need an attorney for workers comp?

With that in mind, these are the top reasons for hiring an attorney. 1. Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney to Evaluate the Claim .

What does a workers compensation attorney do?

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will work to protect your rights. They are on your side, which means they are focused on what course of action is in your best interest. Employers want to protect themselves, and the insurance company wants to spend as little money as possible.

Why is my workers comp claim denied?

One reason for denial is if you have a pre-existing condition in the area of the injury. A workers’ comp doctor may say all your pain is from the other condition and not from the injury , so the claim is denied. 6. An Attorney Can Negotiate a Settlement Offer.

What happens if a subcontractor is responsible for another subcontractor's injury?

If one subcontractor was responsible for another’s an injury, they might be liable instead of the owner of the job site. 5. A Worker’s Comp Attorney Can Appeal a Denial.

Can you get a lump sum settlement in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, you can be offered a lump sum settlement for your injury. Before you accept this payment, you want to know if it’s fair. An attorney can determine the cost of your injury with current and future medical expenses and help you decide what is a fair and adequate amount for a settlement. 2.

Is an attorney necessary for a minor cut?

Here are some scenarios where an attorney is usually not necessary: The workplace injury was minor with no complications, such as a minor cut. You missed no work or were only off a few hours or a day at the most. Your employer acknowledges the incident that happened at work.

Can an attorney determine third party liability?

An Attorney Can Determine Third Party Liability. In most cases, an injured worker has only one option: they can file a workers’ compensation claim against the employer. However, there is one situation where they may be able to file a claim against a third party.

What can a worker's compensation attorney do?

A workers' compensation attorney can help workers who are injured on the job recover compensation for these injuries, including medical bills and lost wages.

What is the ultimate goal of a workers comp lawyer?

The goal of the workers' comp lawyer representing the defendant, which would be the employer or the employer's insurance company, is to mitigate the defendant's liability.

What are the laws that cover federal employees?

Federal employees are covered by a number of laws, including the Federal Employees Compensation Act, the Jones Act for seamen, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act for longshore and harbor workers. The effect of most workers' comp laws is to make the employer strictly liable for injuries sustained in the course of employment, ...

What does an attorney do for a company?

On the defense side, attorneys help insurance companies or self-insured employers mitigate their exposure and defend against workers' comp claims. They must understand the claims-handling guidelines for each business unit they work with and be able to budget costs and calculate exposure.

Why do workers comp claims fail?

Litigating cases before a judge or referee. A lack of concrete and comprehensive medical evidence is one of the primary reasons workers' comp claims fail, and it's a critical responsibility of an attorney to prevent this.

What are some examples of workers compensation?

Updated October 07, 2019. Accidents can be pretty common at work—a broken arm from a fall off a ladder, a back injury from lifting heavy boxes, or carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of years of typing are all common examples. A workers' compensation attorney can help workers who are injured on the job recover compensation for these injuries, ...

Where do workers comp attorneys work?

Workers' comp attorneys work in an office environment, often employed in a law firm or in a corporate legal department. Frequent travel to hearings, arbitrations, depositions, and job sites can be required.

What does an attorney do for you?

A lawyer will file the paperwork on time, build your case, negotiate with the insurance company and draft a settlement, if one is agreed on. If it’s not, you’re headed for a hearing.

How long does it take to file a workers comp claim?

Reporting regulations and deadlines vary from state to state, but it should typically take no longer than 30 days to complete this process.

What to do if your insurance doesn't agree with your rating?

If the insurance company doesn’t agree with the rating, it can require you to get an independent medical exam (IME) by a doctor of its choosing. Chances are that doctor will give you a lower rating than what you (and your sore neck) feel you deserve. A lawyer can help convince a judge you are entitled to a higher rating.

What happens if an injury is unreported?

That injury is aggravated further at work, suddenly becomes serious and the employer/carrier says the original injury didn’t occur at work.

Do attorneys cross-examine witnesses?

An attorney not only will prepare your argument, he or she will prepare you to say the right things in testimony. They also will cross-examine the insurance company’s witnesses. That job should not be left up to amateurs. Unlike civil cases, workers compensation law has a safety net of sort.

Is it bad to handle workers compensation?

Unless you’re an attorney or enjoy reading workers compensation manuals in your spare time, probably not. Handling a case on your own is usually a bad idea, especially since the insurance company will be represented by someone who’s probably handled hundreds of cases.

Can you file a workers comp lawsuit if you are a third party?

If you have a third-party claim – You can go outside the workers comp system and file a workers comp lawsuit if someone other than your employer contributed to your injury. For instance, if a negligent driver hits you while you are driving for work, you can sue that person for damages.

Why do insurance companies deny workers compensation claims?

For example, the insurance company might claim that your injury wasn't work-related or that you filed your claim too late. (To learn more, see our article on common reasons workers' comp claims are denied .)

How much is a workers comp contingency fee?

Additionally, many states place caps on contingency fees in workers' comp cases. The percentage varies from state to state, but is generally between 15% and 25%. However, the fee can be as low as 10% and as high as 33% in some states.

What happens if you don't work again?

If you can never work again, you'll need to maximize your workers' comp benefits and structure them in a way to last well into the future.

How to appeal a disability denial?

You can appeal the denial through the workers' compensation system. While the appeals process varies from state to state, it generally requires you to file formal paperwork, use legal tools to gather evidence, and present your case at a hearing. Your permanent disability rating is disputed.

Do I need to set aside a portion of my workers comp?

If you are eligible for Medicare, you may also need to set aside a portion of your workers' comp benefits to pay for future medical treatment. A lawyer can help you do this in the most advantageous way. You are having a workers' comp hearing.

Do I need a workers compensation lawyer?

Many workers will need to—or can benefit greatly from—hiring a workers' compensation lawyer. In very few cases, an employee who suffers an injury at work can make a claim outside of workers' compensation, and a personal injury lawyer would be appropriate.

Do lawyers get more settlements?

You're likely to get a much higher settlement offer when a lawyer is involved. Lawyers understand the law, know how to negotiate, and can use various tools to build up your case. Because of this, you will probably receive more in benefits if you hire a lawyer, even after the lawyer takes his or her fee.

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