With a strained economy, and good dependable jobs being at a premium, the last thing someone wants to have to deal with is a work related injury with the potential to cause them to miss work indefinitely. Unfortunately, there are times when the inevitable happens and an employee is injured seriously enough that it causes them to miss work, accrue medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately employers are required by federal law to carry and maintain workers compensation insurance for their employees. This is insurance that is designed to provide financial relief and the proper medical attention and rehabilitation (when necessary in order to return to the workforce) to employees that are injured on the job. Because of the exorbitant cost of this type of insurance, and unfortunately, the abuse of the system by so many, insurance companies encourage the employers to deter claims by employees, and the insurance company themselves will often deny these claims whenever possible. Even when these claims are initially approved, it is still possible for an injured employee to have their benefits prematurely terminated prior to their full recovery.
What Does a Workers Compensation Attorney Do?
What a workers compensation attorney does is provide representation to an injured employee, placing the employee on a level playing field with their employer and the insurance company handling the claim. This type of lawyer can provide valuable advice to the employee as well as help them prepare the paperwork and applications to ensure that all the necessary information and documentation is present and accurate.
Workers compensation insurance is quite similar to many other insurance programs in that fraudulent claims and excessive abuse of the program will lead to higher premiums for employers, as the cost is always passed on in order for the insurance company to remain financially viable. In order to manage their costs, employers and insurance companies will attempt to mitigate the amount of claims by denying or fighting the claim, much in the same way that other insurance companies manage their costs.
In certain instances there are rare occasions when an employee may be excluded from coverage for certain things such as their injury being a direct result of willful misconduct or intoxication. Other than these few exclusions, the statutes were enacted by the federal government to protect the right of employees that are injured on the job. A workers compensation attorney will help the injured employee understand their rights as it pertains to these specific laws.
Anattorney can help the employee by handling the litigation between the injured worker and their employer and the insurance company. The litigation in these types of cases are not as heavy or as formal as with most litigation processes, however, because very few employees have a working knowledge of the system and its standards, it is easy for them to be denied or have benefits prematurely terminated without understanding that their rights are being violated. The proper legal representative provides a level of protection from incidents like this.
Often times the insurance company will use something as simple as failing to file an extension to permanently cancel and deny benefits that the employee desperately needs. A good workers compensation attorney will have the necessary expertise to assist their client in taking the necessary steps to insure that they receive all of the benefits that they are entitled to.