Hiring A Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are wondering whether to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, the answer depends on the severity of your injury and the overall complexity of your case. Regardless of the circumstances of your workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to obtain an attorney. Workplace trust, fear of claim denial and injury severity are the main reasons for attorney representation in workers’ compensation claims.
According to one study, when those who hired an attorney were asked why they did so, most said they felt threatened — either by their employer or by the workers’ comp process in general. Surprisingly, almost half (46 percent) of those surveyed said they hired an attorney because they mistakenly believed their claims were denied, when in fact, their claims had not yet even entered the system.
Workers’ Comp can be a confusing maze of legal rules and procedures. Over the past handful of years, Insurance Companies and business groups have worked hard to have the laws stacked in their favor. According to statistics from a 2008 study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, injured workers who hire a workers’ compensation lawyer receive an average of two times more money for their claim, compared to injured workers who did not hire an attorney. Do not assume that your employer will do the right thing. Usually your employer has little say in your treatment or compensation, but an insurance company. Your employer’s insurance company will hire adjusters and nurses to manage your case. It is these people’s job to get you back to work as quickly and cheaply as possible, whether you are fully healed or not.
Representing yourself without the benefit of an attorney’s training and experience is not a simple matter. The law requires you to follow certain steps, file certain forms, present certain evidence to the Judge and comply with certain time limits. An employer may contend you were either not injured or were not injured on the job. Also, many workers, fearing loss of their job, do not report an injury until days or weeks later. Many states do allow you to report the injury within a certain time, and an attorney can investigate the accident or injury and link it to your work.
A seasoned workers compensation lawyer who only presents injured workers could make sure you’re being treated fairly and receive the work compensation benefits you deserve if you’ve been injured on the job.