Workers Compensation Lawyers
What Does a Workers Compensation Lawyer Do?
Employees who sustain injuries in the workplace may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Employees who file a successful workers’ compensation claim may receive benefits, such as ongoing monthly compensation to pay for medical expenses related to the injury or a lump sum pension if the injury resulted in a permanent disability.
The amount of compensation and the type of benefits you receive for a workers’ compensation claim will vary based on the facts of your case, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and by the laws enacted in the jurisdiction where your injury occurred.
Although employees who receive workers’ compensation forfeit the right to sue their employer in exchange for the benefits, you may still want to consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney before filing a workers’ compensation claim.
A workers’ compensation attorney can interpret the laws in your area, calculate the damages in your case, and determine the correct amounts and types of benefits you should receive in connection with a workers’ compensation claim. A workers’ compensation attorney can also explain what rights you have under the law, can help you prepare your claim, and can ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits.
In addition, workers’ compensation attorneys can discuss the pros and cons associated with filing a workers’ compensation claim, and can assess whether filing for workers’ compensation is your best course of legal action. If they determine there are better options for how to handle your case, they can also recommend the next steps you should take.
What are Some Common Workers Compensation Issues?
There are several recurring workers’ compensation issues that workers’ comp attorneys deal with on a regular basis. One of the most common workers’ compensation issues that may require the assistance of a workers’ comp attorney is failing to file a claim on time. Although the length of time an injured worker has to file a claim will vary by state, the standard length of time is usually around 30 days.
Workers who fail to file within the prescribed time frame may forfeit their right to recover workers’ compensation benefits and may have their claim denied. A worker whose claim gets denied may have to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses and could potentially lose their job or income. If a dispute arises over this issue, the worker may need to hire an attorney and take the matter to court in order to obtain relief.
Another common workers’ compensation issue that comes up is that an employer may accuse the worker of faking their injury. When an employer is successful in making such an argument, the insurance company may deny the claim. In this instance, a lawyer can help the worker gather evidence that proves the worker was in fact injured on the job, that their injury is real, and that they deserve to be compensated for it.
One final issue that frequently arises in connection with workers’ compensation claims is an employer might retaliate against the worker by terminating them, docking their pay, denying them a promotion, or scheduling them to work less hours. Notably, it is illegal to fire a worker for simply filing a claim for workers’ compensation. A termination based on this reason is known as a retaliatory discharge.
If this situation occurs, the worker will have grounds to sue their employer for retaliatory discharge. To help ensure the retaliatory discharge lawsuit is successful, the worker should hire a workers’ comp attorney to increase their chances of winning and obtaining monetary relief.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Issue with Workers Compensation?
Although hiring a lawyer is not necessarily required when dealing with workers’ compensation issues, a workers’ comp lawyer can be a valuable resource. Workers’ compensation lawyers can provide advice about the law and strategies that you may not be aware of, such as when there is an exception to a claim for which you might be able to sue your employer.
Workers’ compensation lawyers can also speak to insurance companies on your behalf to find out why a certain claim was rejected and how to appeal that insurance company’s decision. Insurance companies will fight hard to avoid paying for a claim, but having a skilled and knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer to negotiate for you can make it a much smoother process.
You may also want to have a workers’ comp lawyer review all documents before submitting your claim. Even the most straight-forward cases can sometimes cause issues. For example, if there was an error in your application and you failed to correct or amend it, then you may receive less benefits than what you were entitled to had a workers’ comp lawyer reviewed it beforehand.
Lastly, in some states, you may be limited to how many times you can collect workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ comp lawyer can apprise you of this information as well.