The workers’ compensation system is in place to protect workers via employer-paid insurance policies to ensure payment of lost wages and medical bills for injured employees. The concept is straightforward, but the wide variety of injuries and circumstances create a complicated field of options for anyone to wrap their head around.
In some cases, you may not even need a work injury lawyer because the insurance company will simply pay appropriately. For example, if your injuries were clearly work-related, don’t require extensive medical treatment, or don’t require extended periods of time off work, you may not need the help of a workers’ comp attorney.
However, if there is ever a dispute with the insurance company, a workers’ comp lawyer is going to become your newest, best friend.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer if My Employer Is Willing to Help?
In some cases, your company may offer assistance in facilitating your medical treatment, paying the bills related to same and everything relating to your injury. This is the best-case scenario for your health, but not a common one.
The insurance carrier behind your employer’s workers’ comp policy is a business like any other: a business focused on profits. Fraud and an increase in claims have caused insurance companies to raise premiums over the years and is one of the main reasons that may be asserted as a basis to deny your claim.
It may even be your injury or treatment itself that makes the workers’ comp claim process difficult. These are examples of when having a lawyer on your side can guide you to getting the best care needed for your workplace accident.
Here’s how to know when to hire a workers’ comp lawyer to get the best possible result from your claim.
When to Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Experiencing a workplace accident injury can be traumatic. Knowing when you may need a lawyer on your side can bring a sense of calm to a hectic and trying time.
Here are a few instances where you will want to seriously consider having a workers’ compensation attorney at your side:
1. Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied
Serious workplace injuries occur all the time throughout the State of Florida. Workers’ comp insurance companies can (and will) deny claims that are not submitted on time, don’t have enough evidence, or appear (to them) as non-work-related.
These logistical elements should not stand between you securing your rightful compensation. If your claim has been denied, a workers’ comp attorney can use their knowledge and experience to your benefit and fight on your behalf.
2. You Can No Longer Work
If your ability to earn income is affected, the workers’ comp insurance policy is designed to support you. Permanent, life-altering injuries not only affect your ability to perform at your previous job, they can prevent you from finding employment elsewhere.
If your injuries are serious enough to alter your future forever, you will want to secure permanent total disability benefits or a settlement amount to compensate for the loss of your future earnings. Do you know what your injury is worth?
With an attorney, you’ll have a much better chance of receiving the appropriate funds to cover your lost wages and medical care.
3. You Have a Preexisting Condition
Much like you’ve heard relating to health insurance, preexisting conditions can severely impact workers’ comp claims. You’ll have to fight much harder to prove your injury was work-related when the affected body part has already been documented as injured or problematic.
But the insurance company probably won’t tell you that you are still entitled to compensation if a workplace injury worsened or complicated your preexisting condition. This is where a workers’ comp lawyer can step in.
4. You’re Already Receiving Government Benefits
Whether you receive Medicare or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, some complicated calculations will need to be made to secure your exact workers’ comp claim settlement. Keep in mind, with a serious injury, the entire process must be planned out for the remainder of your life.
Don’t be misled and don’t accept a low-ball settlement offer. Only a lawyer who specializes in workers’ comp claims will be able to adequately inform and represent you.
5. There is a Workers’ Comp Hearing for your Claim
If you have filed a Petition for Benefits and you cannot resolve the issues that are disputed (and the insurance company refuses to settle with you), you will be heading to a final hearing, in which case you’ll need a staunch advocate to present your case.
Keep in mind that the insurance company will have an entire team of legal professionals whose sole job it is to represent their interests. If you’re facing a workers’ comp hearing, DO NOT proceed without a qualified attorney to represent you.
Having a Workers’ Comp Lawyer On Your Side
If a workplace injury has forced you to miss out on earning potential or contributed to significant medical bills, call a workers’ compensation attorney.
Work injuries can lead to lifelong ailments and company insurance policies are designed to protect you…but that doesn’t mean the insurance companies are motivated to pay. You need an advocate to ensure that you receive fair treatment and to maximize your benefits.
For example, many people do not consider the concept of lifetime care. Some injuries may seem straightforward in the moment, but can lead to chronic pain and other complications years (or decades) down the road. Having a workers’ comp lawyer on your side to discuss the details of your injury and what it may mean for your future is key.
If you are on the job and suffer an injury, that is when to hire a workers’ comp lawyer. It is very likely that you’ll be able to secure a much more advantageous financial situation with the assistance of a trained, professional workers’ compensation attorney than trying to handle your case on your own.
Advocating for yourself without assistance can be frustrating and futile when you are up against a huge insurance company looking to protect their bottom line.
We hope you never have to contact a workers’ compensation attorney, but knowing when to have one on your side can alleviate additional stress in an already stressful situation.
Call us anytime to talk about your unique circumstances. Our consultations are completely free at all times.