If you are a victim of a work-related accident, the first step you should take is to consult a workers’ comp attorney for legal advice. In any case, filing a claim for workers’ compensation is not as easy as it appears to be. You have to overcome several hurdles to recover payments for damages or injuries.
If you are injured and need help with your medical expenses or have an ongoing court case following the incident, enlisting an experienced lawyer will benefit you directly.
With that said, here are the top signs that you need to hire a workers’ comp attorney:
Your employer is not acknowledging that the incident happened at work
Your employer or the insurance company must first acknowledge that the incident happened at work for your claim to be successful. However, some employers may be unwilling to do so and may even deny it outright. An experienced lawyer can take up the case and prove that you are not making it up. Your employer will have no other choice but to comply with your demands.
Your employer is unconcerned or not addressing your claim appropriately
If you get injured at work, let your employer know immediately, ideally within 30 days from the day of the incident. Unreported injuries may lead to unnecessary delays, and you may lose your rightful compensation. If your employer is delaying addressing your claim, consider hiring a workers’ comp attorney to help expedite the process.
The insurance company is ignoring or denying your claim
Some insurance companies can be malicious and may decide to ignore or deny your claim from the get-go. After all, insurers are in business and will always look for loopholes not to pay up. If this is the case, legal guidance will undoubtedly come in handy to unlock the stalemate and iron out contentious issues.
You developed a temporary or permanent disability from the incident
Work-related accidents can lead to temporary or permanent disability. If you develop a disability that keeps you from going back to work permanently, you may file a claim for loss of income. However, the settlement amount may be a lot of money to the extent that the insurance company may contest your claim. Reaching out to an experienced lawyer is your best bet for legal guidance in such circumstances.
The insurance company is unwilling to pay your medical expenses
Work-related injuries require time to heal, and you may need specialized treatment for faster recovery. However, some insurance companies may be unwilling to cover treatment costs for specialized treatment, claiming it is unnecessary. In such scenarios, enlisting a workers’ comp attorney may be logical. Using legal means, the lawyer will compel the insurance company to pay.
The settlement offered does not cover lost wages and medical bills
Your employer or the insurance company may offer a settlement, but the amount might not be adequate to cover your lost wages, outstanding medical bills, and future treatment expenses. With this in mind, it is in your best interest to enlist a workers’ comp attorney to argue your case and ensure you receive a settlement that will compensate all your expenses related to the incident.
The insurance company is blaming your current injury on your underlying conditions
If you had a preexisting condition before the incident, the insurance company may deny your claim and argue that your injury results from your underlying condition. You have to prove beyond doubt that your current injury is independent of any preexisting conditions. This is the point where the expertise of a workers’ comp attorney comes in handy.
Mistreatment at work for filing a case against your employer
After filing a claim for compensation, your employer may mistreat you at work by giving you fewer hours, demoting you, putting you under pressure, or even firing you. Claiming compensation is your right, and a workers’ comp lawyer can help handle any retaliatory actions against you.
You have a third-party claim
You might file a workers’ comp lawsuit if an outside party’s negligence was responsible for your injuries. However, third-party claims are somewhat complicated, and they require the expertise of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to get what rightfully belongs to you.
You intend to file for disability benefits
Work-related injuries can lead to temporary or permanent disability. If you intend to file for disability benefits through social security, consider hiring a lawyer to guide you through the process. In any case, your social security disability insurance benefits might lessen when your workers’ compensation settlement comes through. The attorney will help minimize the interference between the two payments.
When to contact a Workers’ Comp attorney
You can ignore minor work-related injuries that heal in a day or two. However, if the injury is severe to the extent that you cannot go to work, do not hesitate to contact a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. The lawyer will provide legal guidance and ensure you receive your rightful compensation for injuries sustained at work or during your line of duty.