If you’ve been injured at work, you may consider getting a workers comp lawyer. But before you do so, realize that there are times when it is possible to represent yourself. If your workplace injury is minor or your employer admits it’s work-related, you probably don’t need an attorney. Plus, if your company has a competent human resources department, you might be covered. But there are definitely times when retaining a workers comp lawyer is in your best interest. Especially if your injury is severe, or your case is complex.
When Would I Need a Workers Comp Lawyer?
There are multiple situations that require a workers comp lawyer. Here are just a few:
- You have pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions make it difficult to tell what part of your injury/illness is work-related. If the injury/illness has to do with your pre-existing condition, you need a lawyer.
- Your injury results in a permanent partial or total disability. A limb amputation or widespread paralysis require an attorney. Especially since you will need long-term workers’ comp, disability benefits, or both.
- Your doctors can’t agree. Sometimes your personal physician and the workers’ comp doctor your company forces you to see don’t have matching diagnoses. One doctor may believe your injury or illness is more severe than another. This can disrupt your treatment plan, forcing you back to work before you’re ready. A workers comp lawyer can intervene, buying you much-needed time to rest and recover.
- Your employer’s insurer already rejected your claim and you wish to appeal. Workers’ comp insurers often reject legitimate workers’ comp claims. Why? They are confident that the worker will fail to appeal. An attorney is vital if an appeal is required. Note: Employers in addition to employer’s insurers will deny claims. If this is the case for you, an attorney is required.
- Your employer’s settlement isn’t enough. If your settlement won’t cover all lost wages or medical bills, you need a workers comp lawyer. All workers’ comp settlements must have judicial approval. But most judges will agree to nearly any agreement as long as it’s not extremely unfair. An attorney will get you the best settlement possible for your injury.
- Your boss retaliates. If your boss fires you, demotes you, reduces your hours or pay, or discriminates against you – get an attorney. Retaliation for filing a claim is illegal, and an attorney can help.
You have a potential third-party claim. If a third party contributed to your illness/injury, legally, you can sue. Because this makes the claim much more complex, you’ll need an attorney.
- You receive Social Security disability benefits. Do you get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? If so, you’re obligated to pay taxes on your WC pay. Plus, the workers compensation offset program can reduce your benefits. An attorney can help minimize this offset.
In Some Cases, You May Not Need a Workers Comp Lawyer
Not all claims require an attorney. However, any added level of complexity makes consulting one a smart move. They’ll help you recover the compensation you deserve and structure an ideal benefit plan. Doing so will allow you to rest and recover, so you can return to work as soon as possible.
You May Qualify for Free Legal Assistance With Your Claim
We can match you with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for free, confidential advice. Maybe you want a second, unbiased opinion about your case. Or perhaps you need someone to help you get the most benefits you’re rightfully owed during the appeals process. Either way, an experienced workers comp lawyer is always your best option.
To start your free benefits evaluation and see if you may qualify for legal assistance, click the button below now.