When You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensaion Attorney
If you’re dealing with a work-related injury or illness, you may be thinking whether to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer or handle your case yourself. 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 speaking, you have a good chance of getting by without an attorney’s help if all of the following are true in your situation:
> 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.
> Your injury affected your work minimally or not at all.
> The workplace injury had no effect on a pre-existing condition you might have.
On the other hand, below are a few sample situations where the role of a workers’ compensation attorney becomes crucial:
> Your employer doesn’t pay your benefits right or denies your claim outright.
In most cases, employers and their insurers reject workers’ compensation claims in the belief that workers’ will not bother to appeal. Regrettably, they’re generally right. 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.
If you’ve had a partial or total permanent disability, you could be entitled to weekly payments or a single lump sum payment to compensate for your lost wages. 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 a good fight, hire a reputable workers’ comp attorney.
> You are getting or would like to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
With an improperly structured settlement, your workers’ comp benefits can significantly drive down your Social Security disability payments. An experienced lawyer can ensure that this problem is kept at bay.
These are only a few of the scenarios where a workers’ comp lawyer’s expertise can make or break your case. If you want to be safe, consult one anyway so you can at least get an overview of the possibilities specific to your case.