Imagine you are at work and need to move a stack of boxes. Halfway through picking one up, your boss shoots you with a bow and arrow.
It really doesn’t, but the pain shooting through your shoulder and neck makes you think it did.
Whether it’s a muscle strain or a herniated disc, you need medical help. That means YOU are about to enter the maze of Workers compensation lawyer.
Who are you going to call?
The first call some people make is to a disability attorney. That’s a great idea, except when it’s not.
Let us explain the difference and help you decide when to hire an attorney.
Signs You Should Get a Workers Compensation Lawyer
How your business, or more importantly, your insurance company, handles your case will determine whether it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. Here are 10 signs YOU need a workers compensation attorney in your case.
Your employer or insurance company denies it happened on the job: This is often the case when a minor injury occurs on the job and goes unreported. This injury continues to get worse on the job, then suddenly BECOMES serious and the worker/transporter says the original injury did not occur on the job. It is also possible to lose the effects of the exposure and the result of the transfer.
Your employee defaults on your claim – If you are injured at work, you should notify your employee immediately and begin the reporting process. The company must provide you with the appropriate documentation, report your case to the government worker’s compensation fund, and make a claim with your insurance company. Reporting rules and deadlines vary from state to state, but generally it shouldn’t take more than 30 days to complete this process.
If you have a permanent, or total, disability that prevents you from fully returning to work temporarily, partial insurance companies are more likely to deny such claims because they are the most expensive.
Your doctor recommends treatment and the insurance company doesn’t pay: This is also common when an injured worker’s recovery requires rehabilitation visits that an insurance company deems unnecessary.
If the insurance company denies your claim, if you appeal that decision, and YOU should, if you think your claim is valid, this is where things can get complicated and expert advice is needed. “If there’s a dispute, if there’s a disagreement, then it’s time to get a lawyer,” Branham said.
If the settlement offer doesn’t cover all lost wages and medical bills: Most worker’s compensation deals relate to permanent disability benefits based on a rating system established by medical examiners. If the insurance company disagrees with the classification, they may require you to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by a doctor of their choice. Chances are your doctor will give you a lower rating than you (and your neck pain) believe you deserve. An attorney can help persuade a judge that you are entitled to a higher rating.
You have a pre-existing medical condition: If you already had neck problems before you lifted that heavy box, the insurance company is likely to blame your new pain on you. You need evidence to prove otherwise.
You intend to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits: these benefits, known as SSDI, may be reduced by worker’s compensation benefits. An attorney can structure your settlement to minimize or eliminate compensation.
Your employer is getting back at you: If you are fired, demoted, have your hours reduced, or are pressured to return to work early, an attorney may argue that the penalties are unjustified.
If you have a third-party claim: You can opt out of the work injury scheme and make a work injury claim if someone other than your employer contributed to your injury. For example, if you are hit by a negligent driver on your way to work, you can sue that person for damages.
Signs You Should Not Get a Workers Compensation Lawyer
Your injury is minor and doesn’t require much medical treatment – The workers comp system is specifically designed to handle these types of cases.
You don’t have a preexisting condition that was aggravated by the accident – Pre-existing conditions can complicate your claim, e.g. B. a neck injury from a car accident, which became infected after falling at work.
You miss little or no work – This type of claim should be straightforward.
Should I Get a Lawyer for Workers Compensation?
Hiring an attorney for an employee’s compensation claim is a question that every injured worker faces, and the truth is that most situations (sprained ankle, cut arm, back pain) are easy to kill and more kill to the doctor, some aspirin and some rest.
However, if your workplace injury is serious and there is a dispute between you and your employer or the insurance company handling the case, it is in your best interest to at least speak to a workplace injury attorney. A knee or back strain can turn into knee or back surgery, and things get serious quickly.
“You don’t have to hire an attorney every time you have a claim,” said Tom Holder, a well-known Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney, “but you should at least make a call and have them explain how the process works and what to do.” is does. benefits you. they have a right to receive.”
Just don’t automatically assume that your case has failed in a child support litigation.
“Too many plaintiffs seek counsel the day after the accident,” said Jeff Branham, a Florida workers’ compensation attorney.
Conversely, if you’re worried about bad things at work or the cost of hiring a lawyer, it can end up costing you a lot more not to call one.
“The public perception is that I can’t afford an attorney, or that it will cause necessary delay, or that the attorney will take too much of my award,” said Judge Neal Pitts, a compensation claims judge “whether the case for $100,000 with a lawyer or $10,000 without a lawyer is not a question. And that happens.”
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