In most cases, you can handle the worker’s comp claim yourself, by reporting it promptly and letting the process work. However, there are times when the best course of action is to hire a worker’s comp lawyer to help you. Generally speaking, whenever there is complexity or the employer and/or their insurance company does not treat you fairly.
Worker’s compensation lawyers charge contingency fees, so you would not have to pay anything up front; the attorney would be compensated by taking a set percentage of the settlement amount. You may want to consider hiring an attorney if:
Neither your employer nor the insurance company pays on your claim or denies it outright – Some employers and insurance companies take advantage of the fact that most employees who are hurt on the job will not pursue their claim.
You only get compensated for some of your injury-related expenses – An attorney can help you negotiate the best settlement. It should cover not just medical bills but also lost wages, if applicable.
Your injury or illness has caused a long-term problem – If you cannot resume all or some of the duties of your job or you cannot return to work at all for an extended period of time as a result of your on-the-job injury or illness, an attorney may be able to help you get weekly payments or a lump sum payment for the lost wages.
You are punished for filing a worker’s comp claim – It is illegal for an employer to fire, demote, slash your hours, reduce your pay or otherwise discriminate against you for filing a worker’s comp claim.
You were injured due to the negligence of a third party – Workers comp has broad coverage for work-related injuries. If you were injured while working by a third party (such as in a car accident when you were driving for your work), the circumstances may be murky enough that the claim might be denied. An attorney can advise you of your rights.
The injury or illness was directly caused by your employer’s misconduct – Although workman’s comp coverage is intended to minimize lawsuits, it is mostly geared towards accidents. If you were hurt because of negligence or recklessness on the part of your employer, you may be entitled to additional damages. A worker’s comp lawyer can help you get what you deserve.