In 2017, almost 3 million injuries occurred in the workplace in the United States. Although some injuries are a result of an employee not following the proper safety protocols, some accidents may occur because of employer negligence.
The sad truth is many people are afraid to file for workers compensation because they fear they will lose their job.
Many insurance companies will deny claims using almost any excuse. If you do get compensated, all too often the amount rewarded is not enough to make up for the loss of work you’ve had to endure.
If you experienced an injury at work, it’s important to contact a workers comp lawyer immediately to get the money that you deserve.
When You Should Contact a Workers Comp Lawyer
Some people may try to represent themselves and then discover just how complicated and difficult the workers’ comp system is to understand. It helps to learn more about when you should hire an attorney so you can get the help when you need it most.
If you aren’t sure whether you should file a worker’s comp claim, we will go over 9 reasons when and why you should hire a workers comp lawyer today.
1. The Insurer Denies Your Claim
There are a few reasons that the insurer may have denied your claim. Some of these reasons are:
- No one saw you getting hurt
- You didn’t report the injury right away
- The medical records don’t align with your accident report
- You have tested positive for illegal drugs
- You were laid off or fired before you made your claim
- You did not give a recorded statement to the insurance company or did not sign medical authorizations
It’s important to know that you have the right to appeal a denial. Insurance companies rely on the fact that employees won’t appeal. If you believe the insurer unfairly denied your claim, contact an attorney for a consultation.
2. You Can No Longer Work
If your injury prevents you from ever working again, your benefits will need to last into the future. You may need to be retrained for a new career because you can no longer do the work in your current profession.
This is why it’s so important to hire an attorney right away. In order to protect your future, you need the skill of an attorney who understands how the workers’ compensation system works.
3. Your Employer’s Settlement Isn’t Enough
All too often, an insurance company makes an offer for a large lump sum to keep you from going to court. This may be appealing at the time, but the money doesn’t usually cover your medical fees.
An experienced attorney will negotiate for a higher amount so that you have enough money to pay your bills even after their legal fees.
4. Your Boss Retaliates After Becoming Injured
The Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, (REDA). REDA protects employees hurt in the workplace who are entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. It also protects employees from retaliation at work after they file a claim.
It’s rare, but if your employer would threaten you in any way, a lawyer knows how to handle this type of situation.
5. You Were Injured Due to Employer Misconduct
If your injuries occurred because of something your employer did wrong, an attorney will work on your behalf.
You are entitled to workers compensation if a third party is involved. Say, for instance, a repairman was sent to your workplace and caused you to be injured. You may even file a lawsuit against the third party.
6. You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
If an employee is hired and they have a pre-existing condition that worsens because of the work performed and then file a worker’s comp claim, it’s often denied.
It’s important you have an attorney who can gather the facts and the documentation to show the condition was caused by the job.
7. Your Employer States the Injury Is Not Covered by Insurance
Even if your employer says the injury isn’t covered by workers comp or insurance, it’s important to find out for sure. There are always exceptions to the rules.
For example, even though workers comp does not cover horseplay in the workplace, if your boss participated in it or allowed it to go on at other times, you could be eligible.
Your manager or boss is not an expert on workers comp so it’s important to call an attorney and allow him or her to evaluate the claim to find out for sure.
8. The Workers Comp Doctor Claims You Can Work
Depending on the state you live in, your employer’s insurance company may choose the doctor for your care following an injury. If this is the case, the doctor will have the best interests of the insurance company in mind instead of you.
If the doctor states you can return to work, but you are unable to perform your job, a workers comp attorney will advocate for you to get the care you need.
9. You Are Already Receiving SSDI Benefits
If you are already receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, receiving workers comp will affect it. The Social Security Administration’s rules about workers compensation are complex.
An experienced lawyer will work to minimize the amount your Social Security will be lowered so you can keep more of your money.
Call a Workers Comp Lawyer Today
Many people try to save money by representing themselves, but the reality is that most lawyers offer free consultations. State laws regulate the amount an attorney can charge if they take your case.
If you receive a minor injury at work or become injured and your employer admits that it happened at work, you may think there’s no need to hire a workers comp lawyer. But it’s best to contact an attorney and play it safe.
If there is any type of complexity to your case, you need to hire a lawyer. The insurance companies have highly skilled lawyers working for them. It’s important that you find an attorney that will tip the scales in your favor.
While you’re here, check out some of our blog posts on other important legal issues, or contact us with questions and concerns.