The workers compensation process was designed to make it as easy as possible for employees to negotiate and handle their own claims. This may sound great, but beware: When a claim is very straightforward, and the employer and insurance company do not dispute the results, then the process works well.
However, for many cases, the claims process simply isn’t adequate to get the employee a fair and reasonable workers’ compensation settlement.
In complex or disputed cases you would benefit greatly from having a workers compensation attorney. We suggest contacting a lawyer if you require extended time off work, or if there are any doubts that the injury is work related, such as pre-existing medical conditions.
Additionally, if the injury is going to require extensive medical treatment, or there is any permanent injury or disability, you should hire an attorney to handle your case.
1. An attorney will ensure your rights are upheld
It can be scary to suddenly be in conflict with your employer. As an employee, you may not know what you are entitled to claim and what your rights are. An attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.
A workers compensation attorney will speak for you. A good workmans’ comp attorney knows the laws and will fight to ensure you get the full benefits you are entitled to receive. You need not fear intimidation, demotion, pay reduction or possibly losing your job as a result of filing a claim.
2. A good attorney will have experience and a thorough understanding of all the nuances of the worker comp process
Insurance companies may deny claims due to minor errors in completing the forms, or when submitted too late. They may dispute a claim for expensive surgery to delay a payment or push for a review of the permanent disability rating your doctor assigned. An attorney will ensure forms are correct, keep the pressure on the insurance company to pay in a timely manner and guide you when any disputes arise or through any appeals processes.
3. Realistic expectations
A workers comp attorney has the experience to know what payout is fair. He or she will ensure that all of your medical costs and lost wages are adequately covered to the maximum extent allowed under the law. Remember, your employer and the insurance company will have lawyers determined to pay as little settlement as possible.
4. An attorney will get you a better payout
In almost every case with a large potential payout, an employee will win a larger workers comp settlement if an experienced attorney handles the case. This is true even after the employee has paid the attorney’s fees.
Generally, only if the case is won will the workers compensation attorney be paid, determined by a percentage of the settlement.