Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer has a few key benefits. Among them, you’ll benefit from the unmatched legal experience of someone who can fight for your rights so that you can focus on recovering from your work injury. With that in mind, these are the top reasons for hiring an attorney.
Here are 10 signs you need a workers comp attorney on your case. Your employer or insurance carrier denies it happened at work – This is often the case when a slight injury happens at work and goes unreported. That injury is aggravated further at work, suddenly becomes serious and the employer/carrier says the original injury didn’t occur at work.
As a general rule, you may be able to get by without an attorney if all of the following statements are true: You suffered a minor workplace injury, such as a twisted ankle or a cut requiring a few stitches. Your employer admits that the injury happened at work.
An Attorney Can Negotiate a Settlement Offer Because Pennsylvania allows lump-sum payments, also known as a Compromise & Release, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney to help negotiate the offer. Workers’ compensation will provide an offer they know is probably lower than what they would have to pay if they make ongoing payments.
A Longterm Partnership. When hiring a law firm, you can choose to work with an attorney who you trust and feel in alignment. Over time, this relationship becomes a successful partnership. Because there is a high degree of variation in workers’ compensation claims, your case could take some time to sort through.
When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, they become your advocate. They will get to know you and your specific case needs to find the solution to recoup lost wages or get the support you require. And, you may even form a lasting relationship with your attorney.
If you have lost your ability to earn money as a result of your injury, paying your bills can become even more taxing and stressful. An attorney understands the dire importance of receiving your lost wages. Most Americans need to keep working to support their families or pay for these expenses.
After receiving your benefits you may think the struggle is over. But, the insurance company of your employer may request a reevaluation. This can find out if your health has improved and or show that your injury is no longer debilitating or present.
You Have Excess Medical Bills. As a result of your injury, there could be an excess of medical bills and unforeseen expenses that even medical professionals may fail to note at the beginning. For example, your back injury could cause other illnesses or ailments over time.
A lawyer can help prove that your injury happened in the workplace. They can also help confirm your employment in front of the courts. Attorney’s research skills and dedication to their clients will help you to quickly replace your lost wages even when your employer doesn’t cooperate. 2. Changes in Employer Behavior.
Besides many other factors, one of the main components of a workers’ comp case involves your injury taking place in the workplace or while performing work duties. If your employer denies those injuries happened in the workplace or you face any other form of employer resistance or retaliation, you need to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer.
When you are injured while performing any activity on behalf of your employer, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This includes medical care, temporary disability, permanent disability, job retraining as required, and mileage reimbursement for medical treatment. It doesn’t matter who is at fault or the reason for the accident. If your employer is refusing these benefits, you need to speak with a well-qualified workers’ comp lawyer.
The workers’ compensation system was created to eliminate civil lawsuits related to workplace injuries. Even so, there are circumstances which will allow you to sue, such as when a third party contributed to your injuries, your employer’s negligence causes your injury, or your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance. A well-qualified lawyer can explain the specifics in regard to your injury.
If your workers’ compensation settlement isn’t handled properly it could limit or lower potential Social Security disability payments in the future. Your workers’ compensation attorney can structure your settlement to help you avoid this scenario.
If your disability is permanent – total or partial – you are probably entitled to a lump sum payment or weekly payments to cover your lost wages. Because these settlements are costly, many companies seek to avoid paying them. If your injury or illness resulted in permanent disability, call on a workers’ compensation attorney to see you get the benefits you deserve.
If your employer retaliated – fired you, cut your hours, demoted you, decreased your salary or rate, or discriminated against you – as a result of your workers’ compensation claim, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.
With offices throughout South Florida, our expert team can deliver the personalized representation you need when you have been injured on the job. Call 954-833-5226 now for your free consultation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are provided by your employer, but they are generally paid by the employer’s insurance company. This means your employer must report your injury to its workers’ comp insurance carrier. Reporting can be done via phone or email, with paperwork filed as required, and signed by both you and your employer. An employer refusing to report your injury can indicate potential “red flags” – most importantly that you need a workers’ compensation attorney.
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.
That injury is aggravated further at work, suddenly becomes serious and the employer/carrier says the original injury didn’t occur at work.
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.
Reporting regulations and deadlines vary from state to state, but it should typically take no longer than 30 days to complete this process.
Halfway through lifting one, your boss shoots you with a bow and arrow. He doesn’t really, but pain shooting through your shoulder and neck makes you think he did. Whether it turns out to be a pulled muscle or a slipped disc, you’re going to need medical help. That means you’re about to enter the workers compensation maze.
They can reject the settlement if they feel it’s not reasonable and the employee is getting a raw deal.
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.
By contrast, because there routinely are ongoing disputes over evolving issues — your claim is denied; you’re having trouble getting medical care; you’re unable to return to your previous job; your disabilities are disputed — workers comp cases can last for years, even decades.
Because you’re about to enter a relationship that could last a lifetime, Raaymakers says , be certain you hire someone with a proven track record, someone you can trust, someone you can talk to, someone who gives you confidence.
A 2015 survey of workers compensation clients by the law firm Martindale-Nolo indicated the average case took more than 15 months to resolve. Cases involving permanent disabilities, or negotiated settlements, or clients represented by lawyers — boat-rockers all, it would seem — stretched out an additional two to three months.
Do your research. Avvo.com, the attorney-rating website, is a good place to start. Pay attention to both peers’ and clients’ reviews. Gather a handful of names and begin making calls. Set up interviews. If at all possible, meet face-to-face. Learn about their communications styles and preferences — Are they compatible with your own? — and how accessible they are. What if something happens on the weekend? Will you have to wait until Monday to talk it over?
Your work-related medical issues prevent you from returning to your prior job, or limit what you can do at work.
Ideally under workers comp, the injured employee receives the care (s)he needs to become healthy and productive once more, as well as tax-free wages to pay the bills; the employer gets a healthy worker and avoids costly litigation.
That acknowledged, Raaymakers understands the impulse of sick or injured workers not wanting to “rock the boat.”