Should You or Shouldn’t You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have a work-related illness or injury, you may be wondering if hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is a smart move. There are many factors involved, such as the extent of your condition, the overall circumstances that led to it, and the behavior of your employer or its insurance company.
In general, if all of the following apply to your case, you may be able to get by without a lawyer:
> Your workplace injury is minor (for example, a small cut or a twisted ankle)
> Your employer acknowledges that the injury occurred in your workplace.
> Your injury affected your work minimally or not at all.
> The workplace injury did to aggravate any pre-existing condition you may 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.
In most cases, employers and their insurers reject workers’ compensation claims in the belief that workers’ will not bother to appeal. Regrettably, they’re generally right. Hiring a workers’ comp lawyer costs zero upfront (explanation will come later), and it offers you the best chance of getting a fair award or settlement.
> Your employer only wants to cover a portion of your medical bills or lost wages instead of all of it.
If you’re not sure whether the settlement offer you got is fair enough, don’t just trust the compensation judge blindly. Though workers’ comp settlements must have judicial clearance, judges tend to sign off any agreement that is not conspicuously unjust. If you really want someone who will focus on getting you the best results possible, a lawyer is your best bet.
> Your medical condition has limited your ability to perform your previous job, or have rendered you totally incapable of performing it at all.
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 a good fight, hire a reputable workers’ comp attorney.
> You are getting or would like to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
With an improperly structured settlement, your workers’ comp benefits can significantly drive down your Social Security disability payments. An experienced lawyer can ensure that this problem is kept at bay.
These are just a few scenarios that make hiring a workers’ comp lawyer necessary. To be safe, don’t hesitate to consult one so you can talk about the possibilities relative to your specific case.