If your leg, knee, or ankle has been injured in a workplace accident and you are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, then you may be wondering whether you should hire a workers’ compensation attorney. Many people wonder if it is excessive to hire a workers’ compensation attorney after being injured at work; however, the time immediately following a workplace injury can be stressful enough without having to navigate a complex workers’ compensation claim on your own. If you have recently been injured at work, here are just a few of the reasons you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you during this difficult time.
Get Help Evaluating Your Claim
Upon getting injured at work, one of the first things that you will need to do is to determine the value of your claim. This will give you an idea of what your claim should be worth when you enter negotiations with your employer, which can help ensure that you are not taken advantage of. However, many people do not realize what their claim is worth, and will accept the first lowball offer given to them by their employer. Hiring a lawyer can give you the best chance of being properly compensated, as an experienced attorney will be able to take into account the extent of your injuries, your medical bills, time off of work, pain and suffering, and the permanence of your injuries to determine what your claim should be worth. This makes it critical that you consult an attorney before you accept any settlement offers.
Prevent a Denial
Unfortunately, many employers will look for ways to deny any workers’ comp claim that comes their way, even if the claim is legitimate. While denied claims can be appealed within a certain time of the denial, appeals are complex, and it is easier to get things right the first time. Having an experienced attorney handling your case will help to ensure that all documentation is properly filled out and submitted on time, ensuring that you have the best chances of having your claim accepted. An attorney will know what needs to be done to ensure that you are compensated properly for your knee injury, and should your claim be denied you will already have an attorney working by your side to appeal the decision as quickly as possible.
Don’t Let a Pre-Existing Condition Get in Your Way
It is particularly important that you consult a workers’ compensation attorney if you have a pre-existing condition involving the same part of your body that was injured at work. For instance, if you have dealt with knee pain for years, and have been frequently seen wearing a knee brace to work, you may be facing an uphill battle with your employer’s insurance company after injuring your knee at work. In order to minimize their own liability, the insurance company will likely try to blame your injury on your previous condition rather than on your workplace activities. This makes it critical that you consult an experienced attorney who can help to prove that your injuries are a result of workplace trauma, as this will give you a better chance of being properly compensated.
You and Your Employer Disagree About Your Ability to Work
Depending on your line of work and the severity of your injuries, you may find yourself unable to work for a period of time during your recovery. However, your employer and their insurance company will likely want you to return to work on modified duties as soon as possible so that they can reduce or suspend your workers’ compensation benefits. However, in their rush to get you back to work, they may not give you enough time to fully recover. If you disagree with your employer and believe that you need more time to recover, or you do not think that you will be able to return to work at all, it is important that you work with a workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced attorney can review your case and present evidence to support the severity of your condition to help prove your inability to work.
A Third-Party May Be Partially Responsible for Your Injuries
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your workplace accident, you may be able to make a claim against a third-party. For instance, if a defective piece of machinery caused your injuries, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. In this circumstance, you may be able to pursue a civil case against this third-party, however, it will be critical that you partner with an experienced attorney who can help you determine the best way to proceed with your case.
Ensure Someone is on Your Side
When someone is injured at work and it is not their fault, they will often assume that their employer will be understanding and will want to take care of them, which is why many people think they do not need a lawyer when filing a workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, most businesses do not have their employee’s best interest in mind in this situation, and they will likely do anything possible to place blame elsewhere, deny a claim, undervalue a claim, or even use intimidation tactics to try to get an employee to drop their claim. This makes it critical that you consult an attorney after being injured at work, as this will ensure that you have someone looking out for your best interests and making sure that you are taken care of –and protected– during this difficult time.
Reduce Your Stress
The time immediately following a workplace accident can be extremely stressful. Not only will you likely be in pain, but you will also be temporarily out of work, and you may be facing hostility from your employer. Do not make this time harder on yourself by trying to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own, as you will likely find yourself quickly drowning under deadlines, paperwork, and complex legal documents that you may not fully understand. Hiring an attorney can remove much of this burden as they will take care of filing your claim, which will allow you to focus on healing and returning to work.
Contact a Workplace Injury Lawyer in Rochester, Minnesota
If you have suffered a knee injury as a result of a workplace accident, do not try to go through this difficult time alone. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can work with you to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.