Suffering a work-related injury or illness is something that you do not wish to happen, but when it does, you should be able to secure that you have received a just compensation from such injuries and who better to help you than the services of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Instances When You Can Represent Yourself
There are instances when you can still get by even without the help of a worker’s compensation lawyer, and some of the instances are as follows:
- You only suffered minor injuries in the workplace e.g. a twisted ankle, or a cut that will just require a few stitches
- Your employer admitted that the injury indeed happened during work
- You only missed little or even no work by reason of your injury
- You do not have any pre-existing condition that may have affected the same part as that of your recent workplace injury.
However, as simple as these cases can be, it is still a best practice to have a workers’ compensation attorney by your side so that you can consult about your case as there might be angles that you may have missed. The lawyer will give you a walkthrough of the process, warn you on potential pitfalls, and will also provide you with an honest appraisal as to whether you really can handle the case on your own or not.
Instances When You Should Hire a Lawyer
Complexities will surely arise and when this time comes, then it is high time that you should already contact a workers’ compensation attorney. To guide you, here are some situations that will suggest that you should already contact a lawyer:
- Your employer does not honor your claim and does not even pay for your benefits promptly
Usually, these bona fide claims of workers’ compensation are being rejected by the employers and the worker’s compensation insurers as they seem to be confident enough that these workers will most likely fail to file for an appeal. But, these employers and insurers are mostly incorrect about their assumptions. Thus, to prove them wrong, it is advisable that you hire an attorney as they will cost you nothing upfront (but of course you will still pay them but that is another story to tell), and they will be able to give you the best chance on being able to receive a fair settlement or awards for your injuries.
- The settlement offer of your employer is not enough to cover all of the lost wages or medical bills
You might not be sure if the settlement that you received is not good enough, so it is imperative for you not to rely on the workers’ compensation judge in order to you to ensure that you are indeed receiving a fair deal. Even though these workers’ compensation settlements have judicial approval, these judges will usually just sign off on any agreement as long as their discretion says that it is not grossly unfair. Thus, if you want to get the best settlement possible, then you should consider hiring a lawyer.
- You obtained medical issues that hinder you from returning back to your job and resulted in a limitation on what you can do at work, or it has kept you from performing any work at all
When you ended up suffering from a permanent disability, regardless of its partial or not, then you should be entitled to weekly payments or a lump sum amount that should make up for your lost wages. This type of case can be very costly for insurance companies, and more often than not, they will stop at nothing just to evade paying you the amount that you truly deserve. Thus, an attorney that has extensive experience with workers’ compensation is crucial in cases like these.
- Your boss is retaliating against you by reason of your claim for workers’ compensation
If by reason of your filing for a claim for workers’ compensation and you end up getting fired, demoted, slashed your hours, decreased your pay, or your employer engaged in any other types of discrimination, then you should not let your employer stifle with our legal rights, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at once.
- You ended up having injuries by reason of a third party’s actions or because of serious misconduct by your employer
The system for workers’ compensation is designed in order to prevent civil lawsuits for work-related injuries. But, you are still allowed to file a suit even outside workers’ compensation in certain types of situations. These situations include when a party aside from your employer has contributed to your injury, e.g. a negligent driver who ended up hitting you while you are still driving for work, or your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance or your employer has intentionally caused your injury. So, by having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, he or she will be able to give you clarity on how the law applies to your situation.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help You
Aside from ensuring that you are able to file all of the necessary forms and be able to meet the deadlines, having an experienced lawyer will enable you to be smart on the evidence that you will gather in order to serve as support on your case. This will allow you to negotiate effectively with the insurance company, and be able to write a settlement agreement in order to avoid unanticipated consequences.
How Much Will the Services of a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost?
These lawyers are not going to charge you with billable hours unlike other types of lawyers. What they do instead is to charge you with a contingency fee – this is a percentage of any benefits that you will get from the workers’ compensation that they have helped you recover.
Moreover, there are already a lot of States that put a ceiling on these contingency fees as regards workers’ compensation cases. This percentage will vary from one state to another, and these are usually between 15% and 25%. But. The fee can be either be as low as 10% or as high as 33% in some other states.
If a lawyer is involved, you will surely be able to get a much steeper settlement, and this is because lawyers understand the law, they know how to effectively negotiate, and they also have various tools that they will use in order for you to build up your case.