To Hire or Not to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have a work-related illness or injury, you may be wondering if hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is a smart move. 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 the injury occurred in your workplace.
> Your injury had little to no effect on your work.
> 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.
Employers and workers’ compensation insurers typically reject valid claims, thinking workers won’t push it. And the sad fact is, they’re usually correct. You don’ t have to pay a workers’ comp attorney anything upfront, and you get the best odds of receiving a just award or settlement.
> Your employer offers settlement that only partially covers your lost wages or medical bills.
If you’re uncertain about the fairness of a settlement offer, don’t completely rely on the compensation judge to make sure that you get a reasonable 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 fight for your interests, hire a lawyer
> Your medical issues have significantly reduced your ability to perform your previous work, or made you totally incapable of performing any work 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 are normally very expensive for insurers, and they will exhaust all means to avoid paying you what you deserve. To give a good fight, hire a reputable workers’ comp attorney.
> 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 help you avoid this problem.
These are only a few of the scenarios where a workers’ comp lawyer’s expertise can make or break your case. To be safe, don’t hesitate to consult one so you can talk about the possibilities relative to your specific case.