To Hire or Not to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have an injury or illness due to work-related reasons, you may be mulling over hiring a workers’ compensation attorney or handling your case alone. This depends on many things, including the seriousness of your condition, the overall circumstances surrounding your case, and the steps taken by your employer or its insurance provider.
In general, if all of the following apply to your case, you may be able to get by without a lawyer:
> You had a minor workplace injury (think twisted ankle or a cut that needs a few stitches)
> Your employer acknowledges that the injury occurred in your workplace.
> The injury did not make a significant difference in your ability to 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 properly or does not acknowledge your claim at all.
Employers and their insurers routinely decline workers’ compensation claims, believing workers will not appeal. Unfortunately, they’re often 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. 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 fight for your interests, hire a lawyer
> Your medical condition has made you completely unable to perform your previous work, or partially to a significant extent.
If you’ve suffered a total or partial permanent injury, you can get a lump sum payment or weekly payments to cover your lost wages. These cases can be very costly for insurance providers, and they will do everything to prevent them from giving you what you deserve. To give them a good fight, hire a knowledgeable and seasoned workers’ comp attorney.
> You are getting or would like 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.
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.