When Should a Workers Compensation Attorney Be Hired?
By the time someone needs to bring in a worker compensation attorney to help them manage a benefits claim, their situation is likely already worsening. Accidents and injuries can happen while on the job, and employers are obligated to protect their employees in the event of an injury, assuming the employer has opted into state employee injury benefits programs. However, even if an employee is entitled to benefits, attaining them is another concern. A lot can go wrong when seeking injury benefits, and even a minor interruption in benefits can put the victim in a tough financial spot. To ensure this doesn’t happen, and that the victim gets the benefits they are entitled to, a lawyer can oversee a case and protect the victim from common claim issues.
WHEN SHOULD A HURT EMPLOYEE CONSIDER HIRING A WORKER COMPENSATION ATTORNEY?
There are several obstacles that may stand in the way of a hurt claimant. When any of these situations present themselves, it is time to bring in a lawyer:
- The employer rejects a claim or there is a delay in benefits. An ugly secret of the process is that many completely legitimate claims are rejected by insurers and employers because they know most people won’t appeal a claim. Unfortunately, they are right, as nearly 80 percent of rejected claimants will not.
- The benefits don’t cover all of the medical costs or lost wages. Judges are responsible for setting the benefit amount for a hurt employee, but their decision is not always fair or properly assessed. A lawyer will make sure that their client receives a fair judgement for their claim.
- An employee’s injuries prevent a return to work. If an accident is bad enough to disable permanently, they may be entitled to benefits that could extend out for the rest of the victim’s life. This is a nightmare for insurance companies, as it can be expensive to pay out these benefits. As such, they may contest the claim aggressively, so it is best to walk into court with expert legal representation.
- The claimant’s employer retaliates for filing a claim. Although not allowed, many employers will get petty and vindictive toward an employee that may cost them money, even if the employer is responsible for injuring the claimant. Firings, demotions, slashed hours, or reduced pay are all common methods of retaliation an employer may use against a claimant, and if they engage in such dishonest tactics, a lawyer will need to intercede immediately.
Information is essential for executing a successful claim, and an experienced worker compensation attorney knows how to sift it out. Medical records, expert witness testimony, secondary medical opinions, and accident reports will all be valuable for proving a claim, and a lawyer knows how to organize and present it. Such preparation can make the difference between a failed claim and one that provides for a victim’s injuries, allowing them to concentrate on recovering.