If you experience an injury at the workplace, one of the questions you will need to grapple with is whether you need a workers compensation lawyer. Your overall objective is to achieve the best possible outcome from your claim.
You can pursue your case without the help of a lawyer. This might make sense when the injury is minor, you hardly missed work as a result of the injury, the employer agrees that an injury occurred and if you do not suffer from pre-existing medical conditions.
That being said, what might look like a straightforward situation can rapidly spiral out of your control. Chances are your employer and insurer already have internal legal departments as well as external lawyers on retainer. To be on the safe side, it is best to engage a workers compensation lawyer that can guide you through the process and let you know when you are being shortchanged.
The following are instances when you need to hire an attorney as quickly as possible.
Employer Denies The Claim
For a wide range of reasons, some employers may try to place numerous obstacles in the way of your claim. It could start with denying the incident took place at all and if it did, you were not in the course of performing your work. Some employers in cahoots with insurers will outright reject legitimate claims in the knowledge that many employees will be reluctant to appeal the decision.
Failure To Pay Your Claim
Some employers and insurers will accept your claim as legitimate but drag their feet when it comes to actual payment. Even if they eventually pay the claim, the amount of time that will have passed could make the cash of much less value to you than if it was paid when the incident was fresh. To get the matter out of the way, hiring an attorney early significantly increases the likelihood of the claim being paid quickly.
Your Benefits Are Inadequate
The judge in a compensation case delivers judgment based on the information presented to them. Judges will often sign off on what they consider relatively fair for both parties even when in reality it is not in the claimant’s best interest. You could end up with benefits that do not cover your medical bills or lost wages thus punching a hole in your personal finances that will take a long time to recover from. Attorneys understand the law, know what issues will be relevant and work in your favor.
Some workplace accidents could leave you permanently partially or totally disabled. In that case, your insurance cover might entitle you to a lump sum payment or weekly payments for life to make up for lost future wages. These kinds of payments are quite expensive for the insurer and they will do all it takes to ensure that you either do not get paid or are paid much less than you deserve. A seasoned workers compensation lawyer is a must-have in any case involving permanent disability.
Some bosses may lash out in frustration at employees who file workplace compensation claims. Your immediate manager might be under pressure to keep such claims at a minimum especially if you work in an industry such as construction that is prone to serious workplace incidents. If your employer fires you, slashes your wages, reduces your working hours or discriminates against you in any other way simply because you filed a workers compensation claim, it is time to get in touch with a workers compensation attorney.
Workers compensation was originally structured to protect employees but it often seems to work in the insurer’s and employer’s favor. Getting an experienced attorney is bound to tilt the scales in your favor.
Read: Tips for Reporting Injuries at Work