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 admits that your injury is work-related.
> The injury did not make a significant difference in your ability to work.
> You don’t have a pre-existing condition that may have been worsened by the recent work-related injury.
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.
Employers and workers’ compensation insurers typically reject valid claims, thinking workers won’t push it. 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 offers settlement that only partially covers your lost wages or medical bills.
If you’re not sure whether the settlement offer you got is fair enough, don’t just trust the compensation judge blindly. Workers’ comp settlements do require judicial approval, but usually, judges will just sign off an agreement if it is not grossly 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 limited your ability to perform your previous job, or have rendered you totally incapable of performing it at all.
As compensation for lost wages, you may be entitled to once-a-week payments or one lump sum payment, if you have been partially or totally and permanently disabled by your injury. These cases can be very costly for insurance providers, and they will do everything to prevent them from giving you what you deserve. A reputable workers’ comp lawyer will give you a good fight.
> You are receiving or planning to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
If your workers’ comp settlement is not properly structures, you could end up with considerably lower Social Security disability payments. An experienced lawyer can ensure that this problem is kept at bay.
There can be an unlimited number of scenarios where the help of a workers’ comp lawyer is critical. If you want to be safe, consult one anyway so you can at least get an overview of the possibilities specific to your case.