Injuries can happen on the job when least expected. When someone suffers a serious workplace injury, the results can be stressful. Not only does the injured worker worry about their recovery, but they also stress over a loss of income, and their ability to return to work. Although worker’s compensation laws have been put into place to protect injured workers, employers and insurance companies do not always heed the law and provide their employee with benefits. When issues arise with the injury claim, it is wise for injured workers to seek help from a workers compensation attorney.
Injured Workers Often Need to Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney
Injured workers often trust their employer to do the right thing when it comes to their injury claim. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some injured workers feel confident enough to represent themselves in the claim, but this is not always advised.
Injured workers may find they can represent themselves if they only suffered a minor injury and the employer admits the injury happened at work. Those with serious injuries, long recovery periods or preexisting conditions should consider hiring a worker’s compensation lawyer to ensure their rights and best interests are protected as they go through the claims or appeal process.
Even if only a minor injury occurred and the employer seems to be cooperative, it is still wise to seek a consultation with a workers comp lawyer. Meeting with a lawyer allows the injured worker to learn valuable information regarding their case.
The lawyer will fully evaluate the claim and inform the injured party of any issues that may arise. The lawyer will offer an honest assessment on whether the claim will be approved and if the injured worker will be able to successfully represent themselves.
It is highly recommended injured workers do not represent themselves. It is important to remember that the employer and insurance company will likely be represented by a high-powered attorney. When an injured worker represents themselves, they are going to be at a great disadvantage.
Many Employees Wait Too Long to Hire Workers Compensation Lawyers
Knowing when to seek legal help is essential for any worker’s compensation claim. Many injured workers wait too long to seek legal help because they mistakenly put faith in their employer to be fair. The longer they wait to get legal help, the greater the potential for lost evidence.
Following are some specific reasons an injured worker should hire a workers comp attorney.
- If the insurance company has denied the claim, it is imperative the injured worker seeks immediate help from workmans comp lawyers. After the claim has been filed, the employer has 21 days to decide. They can accept the claim and make full payment or deny the claim entirely. When denials occur, getting help from a lawyer is important.
- If the employer fails to properly file the claim, by leaving out injuries or not reporting in a timely manner, legal help should be sought. If all of the injuries are not properly reported, they will not be paid on correctly. Getting help from a worker’s comp attorney will hold the employer and insurance company accountable.
- Sometimes, unscrupulous employers and insurance companies will attempt to stop worker’s compensation benefits or reduce the amount that is being paid out. When an injured worker does not have legal representation, their rights can be infringed upon in the claim’s process.
- If the employer insists the injured worker only see the company doctor, seeking legal advice is recommended. In most cases, the injured worker has the right to see the doctor of their choice. Hiring an attorney will help to ensure the injured worker’s medical needs are fully met.
- Although worker’s compensation laws prevent injured workers from suing their employers, this does not mean third parties cannot be pursued. If a third party is involved, it is wise for the injured worker to consult with an attorney to determine whether a lawsuit is in order. A third party’s involvement could mean the injured worker is entitled to an additional settlement, depending on the circumstances.
- If the injuries are severe enough to warrant long-term or permanent disability, there may be other benefits the injured worker is entitled to receive. Consulting with a workers compensation attorney will help to ensure the injured worker receives all of the benefits they deserve.
Injured workers are often denied benefits even when they are eligible to receive them. When claims are denied, injured workers and their families face undue stress that makes the recovery process much more difficult. Being injured on the job is a traumatic experience. The victim is often revictimized in the process of filing their claim and being made to jump through hoops, only to be denied.
How a Workers Comp Attorney Can Help
- Hiring a worker’s compensation attorney from Hadley Law Firm offers a much better chance for a fair outcome. There are many ways the attorney can help their injured client. Even if the injured worker decides not to hire the attorney, the valuable legal advice they receive during the consultation is beneficial.
- Once the attorney is hired, he or she will immediately begin gathering medical records and pursuing the employer and insurance company. Insufficient medical evidence is one of the most common reasons for worker’s compensation denials.
- The attorney will work to ensure their client receives medical care from the right professionals. The attorney will gather medical records, talk with medical experts, and bring experts in for depositions. If the injured worker is required to attend a deposition, the attorney will represent their client at all times in the process.
- One of the prime duties of the attorney will be to negotiate the worker’s comp settlement and structure any settlement agreements. If a claim is denied by the employer or insurance company, the injured worker has the right to appeal the decision and the attorney will help with every step in this process.
What Injured Workers Should Know About Hiring an Attorney
Most worker’s compensation lawyers offer free consultation appointments. These lawyers do not work on traditional retainer agreements.
The vast majority of worker’s compensation attorneys provide contingency agreements. This type of agreement means the attorney will not be paid any fees unless the case is won. It is essential injured workers realize their employer and insurance company are not working on their side. The goal of the insurance company is to save their company as much money as possible. If they can get away with it, they will certainly attempt to deny claims or drastically reduce them.
Although no outcome can be guaranteed by an attorney, those injured workers who seek legal help from Hadley Law Firm generally have a better chance of obtaining the fair outcome they deserve. Individuals who have legal representation are able to focus on their recovery without so much stress involved.
The attorney works to protect the rights of the injured victim and becomes their advocate. Having an attorney working on their side helps injured workers gain knowledge about their rights and the best form of legal recourse.
The average injured worker may not know it is against the law for their employer to fire them for filing a claim. They may also be unaware their other rights, such as the right to appeal an unfavorable decision. Ignorance of their rights and worker’s compensation laws can end up costing an injured worker in the long run.
How to Get Started on a Claim
The first step an injured worker needs to take after seeking medical care is to inform their employer, so the injury is reported. Each state has its own laws regarding worker’s compensation, but most states require the injured worker to report their injuries within 30 days or forfeit their rights to receive compensation.
If the injuries are severe, it is wise for injured workers to schedule a consultation appointment with the worker’s compensation attorney. These appointments are often free for new clients. At the consultation, the injured worker will need to be prepared to provide extensive information on how their injuries occurred and what has happened since the claim was filed. The more information the injured client can provide, the better the chances a strong case foundation will be formed.
If the injured worker decides to hire an attorney, the attorney will immediately start the investigation process. He or she will work to ensure their client is under the care of the right physician.
It takes time for some worker’s compensation claims to be settled. In some states, the final decision of any worker’s compensation claim must be approved by the state’s worker’s compensation board. This process can take 30 to 60 days.
Once the settlement has been approved, the insurance company will have 20 days to pay on the claim. This time period can slightly vary from state to state, but typically does not rise higher than 30 days.
Schedule a Consultation With Award-Winning Team at Hadley Law Firm
Facing a serious workplace injury is stressful. Those who have been injured on the job have the right to seek fair worker’s compensation benefits. Scheduling a consultation appointment with Hadley Law Firm allows injured workers to discover their rights and legal options. The more informed the injured worker, the better the chance of them making pragmatic decisions that will benefit the outcome of their claim. With the help of an attorney, pursuing a worker’s compensation claim will be much easier and less stressful.