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Should You or Shouldn’t You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have a work-related illness or injury, you may be wondering if hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is a smart move. The answer depends on a lot of things, mainly the severity of your condition, the general complexity of your case, and your employer’s or its insurer’s actions.
Generally speaking, you have a good chance of getting by without an attorney’s help if all of the following are true in your situation:
> You had a minor workplace injury (think twisted ankle or a cut that needs a few stitches)
> Your employer acknowledges that your injury was a result of work.
> The injury did not make a significant difference in your ability to work.
> You don’t have a pre-existing condition that may have been worsened by the recent work-related injury.
On the other hand, below are a few sample situations where the role of a workers’ compensation attorney becomes crucial:
> Your employer isn’t paying your benefits promptly or flatly denies responsibility.
Employers and workers’ compensation insurers typically reject valid claims, thinking workers won’t push it. Regrettably, they’re generally right. You don’ t have to pay a workers’ comp attorney anything upfront, and you get the best odds of receiving a just award or settlement.
> Your employer agrees to cover only part, not all, of your medical bills or lost wages.
If you’re not sure whether the settlement offer you got is fair enough, don’t just trust the compensation judge blindly. While workers’ comp settlements need judicial approval, remember that judges will usually sign off an agreement so long as it is not blatantly unjust. If you really want someone who will strive to give you the best settlement possible, call a lawyer.
> Your medical condition has limited your ability to perform your previous job, or have rendered you totally incapable of performing it at all.
If you’ve had a partial or total permanent disability, you could be entitled to weekly payments or a single lump sum payment to compensate for your lost wages. These cases can be very costly for insurance providers, and they will do everything to prevent them from giving you what you deserve. To give them a good fight, hire a knowledgeable and seasoned workers’ comp attorney.
> You want to get or are already receiving Social Security disability benefits.
With an improperly structured settlement, your workers’ comp benefits can significantly drive down your Social Security disability payments. An experienced lawyer can ensure that this problem is kept at bay.
These are just a few scenarios that make hiring a workers’ comp lawyer necessary. To be safe, don’t be afraid to consult one and discuss the possibilities pertaining to your particular case.