If you’ve recently suffered a work-related injury, you might be wondering if you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to receive compensation benefits.
There’s a lot of uncertainty on top of an injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim may be the last thing you want to do on your own.
It takes a lot of time and knowledge of personal injury law to receive fair workers’ compensation benefits.
Whether or not you ultimately need a lawyer will depend on the severity of your injury, the overall complexity of your case, and the actions of your employer or its insurance company.
But all injured workers should at least speak to an attorney with knowledge of workers’ compensation law.
In the article below, we’ll discuss some of the questions and uncertainties you may feel when hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.
Common Workplace Injuries
There are an infinite number of injuries you can sustain at work, depending on the work you do.
An experienced worker will take the necessary precautions to avoid being injured, but even the most skilled and careful workers can still be involved in an accident.
Some of the most common types of injuries we see at Shunnarah Law are:
- Back injuries and spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Hearing loss
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Degenerative disc/joint disease
- Broken bones and fractures
- Black Lung Disease
- High blood pressure
- Burn injuries
Always Seek Medical Treatment after a Workplace Injury
If you’ve been injured in an on-the-job accident, you need to seek immediate medical care.
Regardless of the potential medical bills (these should be taken care of by your workers’ comp benefits), it’s vital to look after your health by seeking immediate medical attention.
Seeking medical care also ensures that an injury is documented by a medical professional.
Your medical records will be crucial to a worker’s compensation claim.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
Although employees can file claims on their own, the legal system is not very easy to navigate.
The first thing you need to do is provide notice to your employer.
If necessary, have a loved one call from the doctor’s office.
Never wait more than a week to report your injury, and always report it as soon as you can.
Follow these steps immediately after your injury:
- Tell your employer you’ve been hurt
- Visit your doctor and tell them how you got hurt.
- Have your doctor tell you whether or not you can return to work and report that information to your employer.
- Seek legal representation if you are unsure whether you are eligible for benefits or need help filing
How Much Money Can You Receive In A Worker’s Compensation Claim?
In most cases, a fair settlement in a workers’ compensation claim typically includes two-thirds of your wages if you can’t return to work.
All medical expenses related to the injury, including hospital bills, prescription drug costs, rehabilitation, and repayment for travel costs to and from medical facilities, are also included.
Several factors might determine how much an employee will receive.
For example, permanent injuries or disabilities almost always result in larger settlements.
If you can return to work, you might be given a role that doesn’t require the same physical demands as the role you had before your injury.
This will typically be a smaller settlement, but you can still be paid partial benefits if your new role means less pay.
Are There Situations When You Can Represent Yourself?
Sometimes you may be able to get by without an attorney if all of the following statements are true:
- You suffered just a minor workplace injury
- Your employer is helpful and admits that the injury happened at work and helps you receive workers’ compensation coverage.
- You missed little or no work due to your injury.
- You don’t have a preexisting condition affecting the same part of your body as the recent workplace injury.
Even in these relatively uncomplicated situations, the compensation process is still complex, and it’s still a good idea to contact a workers’ comp attorney.
Your lawyer can walk you through the legal process, alert you to potential pitfalls, and give you an honest appraisal of what your claim may be worth.
Why Should You Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
In a perfect world, injured workers wouldn’t have to worry about getting benefits.
However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and you will likely need an experienced attorney to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
If any of the following apply to you, you should speak to a lawyer right away.
Your Employer Is Delaying the Claim
To receive a fair comp settlement, you need to notify your employer as soon as possible, even after a minor injury.
When you’ve notified the employer, they must contact their insurance company and file a claim.
If your employer doesn’t act fast enough, it can negatively affect your case.
An experienced law firm can get the process started so you get the benefits you need as soon as possible.
The Settlement Offer Doesn’t Cause Your Damages
If you suffer an on-the-job injury and you aren’t sure your settlement offer is good enough, don’t rely on your employer or workers’ compensation judge to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal.
Workers’ comp settlements must have judicial approval, but judges will typically sign off on an agreement as long as it’s not grossly unfair.
To get you the best settlement possible, call an attorney.
Your Accident Results in a Permanent Disability
There are two types of disability.
The first is a permanent partial disability, and the second is a permanent total disability.
If you have a permanent partial disability, you can still work, but not at the same capacity as before the accident.
A permanent total disability leaves you completely unable to work altogether.
Disabilities are expensive, and your attorney will help ensure you receive the benefits you need after suffering a disability.
You Face Retaliation in the Workplace
If your employer seems to be retaliating against you after filing a compensation claim, you need a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
This retaliation could include reducing your hours, demoting you, harassing you, or terminating your employment.
Employees have the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits, and if an employer retaliates against a worker, that employer violates public policy.
Hiring a workplace injury lawyer can help you right the wrongs invoked through employer retaliation after a workplace injury.
You Have a Pre-existing Condition
If you have a preexisting condition in the same area you were injured during your work accident, the insurance company might fight back and blame it on your condition.
Your attorney can help produce evidence to show your injuries directly resulted from your accident so you receive fair compensation.
When to Speak To A Workers Compensation Lawyer
You need to call as soon as you can after your personal injury to speak to a lawyer so they can help determine your best course of action.
An initial case evaluation can help you determine if you need a workers’ comp lawyer to help you through the workers’ compensation claims process.
The only way you’re going to if you need a workers’ compensation lawyer is by letting one evaluate your claim.
Let Larry Nussbaum Law Fight For You!
Larry Nussbaum Trial Attorneys is a top-tier firm boasting years of experience in personal injury cases, especially those revolving around workers’ compensation.
We are here to defend your right and prevent exploitation.
If you’ve been injured at work, don’t wait any longer to schedule a free consultation now, so your case can be evaluated by an expert workers’ compensation lawyer.