Should You or Shouldn’t You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have an injury or illness due to work-related reasons, you may be mulling over hiring a workers’ compensation attorney or handling your case alone. There are many factors involved, such as the extent of your condition, the overall circumstances that led to it, and the behavior of your employer or its insurance company.
Generally, if all of the following are true for you, you may not have to hire a lawyer:
> You had a minor workplace injury (think twisted ankle or a cut that needs a few stitches)
> Your employer admits that your injury is work-related.
> Your injury affected your work minimally or not at all.
> The workplace injury did to aggravate any pre-existing condition you may have.
On the other hand, below are a few sample situations where the role of a workers’ compensation attorney becomes crucial:
> Your employer isn’t paying your benefits promptly or flatly denies responsibility.
Employers and workers’ compensation insurers typically reject valid claims, thinking workers won’t push it. And the sad fact is, they’re usually correct. You don’ t have to pay a workers’ comp attorney anything upfront, and you get the best odds of receiving a just award or settlement.
> Your employer only wants to cover a portion of your medical bills or lost wages instead of all of it.
If you’re uncertain about the fairness of a settlement offer, don’t completely rely on the compensation judge to make sure that you get a reasonable deal. Though workers’ comp settlements must have judicial clearance, judges tend to sign off any agreement that is not conspicuously unjust. If you really want someone who will focus on getting you the best results possible, a lawyer is your best bet.
> Your medical issues have significantly reduced your ability to perform your previous work, or made you totally incapable of performing any work at all.
As compensation for lost wages, you may be entitled to once-a-week payments or one lump sum payment, if you have been partially or totally and permanently disabled by your injury. These cases are normally very expensive for insurers, and they will exhaust all means to avoid paying you what you deserve. To give them a good fight, hire a knowledgeable and seasoned workers’ comp attorney.
> You are receiving or planning to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
If your workers’ comp settlement is not properly structures, you could end up with considerably lower Social Security disability payments. An experienced lawyer can help you avoid this problem.
There can be an unlimited number of scenarios where the help of a workers’ comp lawyer is critical. If you want to be safe, consult one anyway so you can at least get an overview of the possibilities specific to your case.