Workers’ Compensation: Why Hiring a Lawyer to Help is the Best Option
If you have been injured at work and are wondering if you should hire a lawyer or represent yourself, you must consider the complexities of your case before deciding.
In a case where your injuries are minor (a sprain, a twisted ankle, a few stitches) and you have not missed many days at work, your employer confirms the injury at the workplace, you do not have any pre-existing conditions, and your case is not complicated, you can represent yourself.
Most often these are ideal situations where your case is likely to get approved in a workers’ compensation court. But, that’s seldom the case. The moment there are complexities in your case you need to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for the following reasons:
Denial of your claim or failing to receive benefits:
Many employers and insurance companies deny benefits claims because they are confident that about 80% of employees would not appeal. Sadly it’s true. People just accept the fact that they cannot get compensation for whatever reason was stated to them. There could be many reasons behind your claim getting declined; from not seeking proper medical attention, a discrepancy in medical reports, improper filing, or not reporting your injuries right away. But, appealing by talking to a lawyer gives you a greater chance to get what is rightfully yours.
Your employer’s settlement offer may not be the best: It is true that you need a judge to sign off on your settlement, and judges will sign off most things as long as they think it is a fair offer. Employers try to give you a settlement which acts more like a benefit for them than it is for yours. Sometimes these settlements may not even cover your all your medical bills. This is one more reason for you to consult a workers’ compensation attorney who knows whether the deal that is being offered is in your best interest.
Medical issues that prevent you from getting back to work:
You may be entitled to a lifetime of weekly compensation or a one-time settlement if you have suffered an injury that has permanently disabled you. Since insurance companies have to pay significant amounts for these cases, it turns out costly for them. Hence they try their best to get you to settle for a much lower benefit. This is all the more reason that you should hire an attorney.
Your boss turns against you:
Many employees find themselves in a grave situation when they file for workers’ compensation. Bosses may suddenly fire you, demote you, reduce your working hours, reduce your pay and can discriminate you with other employees. Though none of these behaviors should be meted out to anyone, in case, such a situation arises only a good lawyer can help you sort out your workers’ compensation case.
Social Security Disability Benefits:
If there is a problem with the structure of your workers’ compensation benefits, then Social Security can receive a chunk of your total profits. Only an attorney will be able to prevent this from happening with a structured benefit plan.
You have a third party claim:
Though workers’ compensation has been designed in such a way to keep work injury cases out of the civil tort system, you are still allowed to sue a third party whose negligence caused you the injury in the first place. For example: if a delivery truck man was hit by a recklessly driven car while he was out making deliveries, then the delivery truck man has the right to sue the owner of the vehicle for a third party negligence. Most of the times third-party claims are much higher than workers’ compensation benefits. Only an experienced attorney can help you file for both cases.
What can an attorney do for you?
An attorney can:
- Help you meet all your deadlines
- Make sure you file your forms error-free
- Help you document your medical records to prove the severity of your condition
- Estimate how much your case is worth and evaluate your settlement offers
- Guide you to make sure you don’t get cheated by your employer or insurance company
Goldberg & Wolf is an experienced workers’ compensation law firm that can help you with your case. If you have a workers’ compensation case, you will require a team of seasoned lawyers by your side to claim the fair amount. Give us a call at (856) 651-1600 to get all of your queries regarding your case answered.