When You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensaion Attorney
If you have a work-related illness or injury, you may be wondering if hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is a smart move. 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.
In general, if all of the following apply to your case, you may be able to get by without a lawyer:
> You sustained a minor injury, such as a small cut or a twisted ankle)
> Your employer acknowledges that your injury was a result of work.
> The injury did not make a significant difference in your ability to work.
> The workplace injury did to aggravate any pre-existing condition you may have.
On the other hand, the following situations are examples of when it may be necessary to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer:
> 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. Unfortunately, they’re often correct. There’s no need to pay a workers’ comp attorney anything upfront, and your chances of getting a fair settlement or award is highest.
> Your employer agrees to cover only part, not all, of your medical bills or lost wages.
If you’re unsure about a settlement offer being good enough, don’t put your complete trust in the compensation judge in terms of giving you a fair deal. While workers’ comp settlements need judicial approval, remember that judges will usually sign off an agreement so long as it is not blatantly unjust. If you really want someone who will focus on getting you the best results possible, a lawyer is your best bet.
> Your medical condition has made you completely unable to perform your previous work, or partially to a significant extent.
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. Because cases like these are very expensive for insurance companies, they will do everything in their power not to have to pay what you rightly deserve. To give them a good fight, hire a knowledgeable and seasoned workers’ comp attorney.
> You want to get or are already receiving 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.
These are only a few of the scenarios where a workers’ comp lawyer’s expertise can make or break your case. To be safe, don’t hesitate to consult one so you can talk about the possibilities relative to your specific case.