Being injured in a workplace accident can be devastating and can leave you out of work for an extended period of time, and it may even leave you permanently disabled. After being injured in the workplace, many people do not know where they should turn, or if their case even warrants them contacting a workers compensation attorney. While it is often a good idea to meet with an attorney after a workplace accident in order to ensure that you are being looked out for properly, here is an overview of a few signs indicating that it is time for you to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer after being injured on the job.
You Were Recently Injured at Work and Have Questions
The time immediately following a workplace accident can be extremely stressful and confusing. While your attention should be focused on your recovery, it is likely that you will have many concerns and questions about your current and future financial situation. If you are feeling lost after sustaining a work-related injury, it would then be in your best interest to consider meeting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help answer all of your questions and help you understand your rights moving forward. Working with a workers’ compensation attorney from the beginning can help to ensure that you have someone looking out for your needs as you begin the process of filing a workers’ comp claim.
Your Claim Has Been Denied
Even if it is apparent to you that your injury was work-related, you may find that your employer or insurance company tries to deny your worker’s comp claim on the grounds that there is insufficient evidence to prove that your claim was work-related. If your claim has been denied, it is critical that you meet with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, as they will be able to help walk you through the complex appeals process.
You Have Been Asked to Settle
Alternatively, your employer may also try to get you to settle right away if they recognize their own negligence. However, it is critical that you do not accept a settlement until you have met with an attorney, as your employer may be trying to get you to settle quickly in order to mitigate costs and prevent paying you what you actually deserve if they know that they are to blame. However, a workers’ compensation attorney will have experience valuing claims similar to yours; they will then be able to determine what your claim is worth, and they will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
You Can’t Get The Treatment You Need
If you have been severely injured in a work-related accident, then it is likely that you will need immediate ongoing medical attention. However, if your workers’ comp case is still disputed, then your insurance company may deny, or delay approving, medical treatments and surgeries. This is where it can be critical to have a lawyer by your side to ensure that you get the treatments you need.
Your Ability to Work Has Been Affected
Depending on the severity of your accident, you may have been left with a permanent partial or total disability that could affect your ability to work in the future. If this is the case, then you will need to be able to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits in order to ensure your family’s financial stability in the future. This makes it critical that you work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can work to get you the proper compensation for your injuries.
Your Disability Rating is in Dispute
When you are permanently disabled by a workplace accident, a doctor will assign you a permanent disability rating that will let the insurance companies know the extent to which you were disabled by the accident. This rating is then used to calculate your workers’ compensation benefits. However, the insurance company may not agree with the disability rating assigned by your chosen doctor, and they may require that you attend an independent medical examination (IME) with a doctor of their choosing. Oftentimes, IME doctors assign a much lower disability rating that the insurance company will then use to justify paying you less than you deserve. If your disability rating is in dispute, or if you are being asked to submit to an IME, it is critical that you consult an attorney. An attorney can be essential in helping you to get a fair settlement if your disability rating is being called into question.
You Have a Preexisting Condition
You should also consider consulting an attorney if you have a preexisting condition that affects the same part of your body that was injured at work. The fact is that if you have a preexisting condition you will be facing an uphill battle with the insurance company, as they will likely try to blame your injuries on your condition rather than your work. Having an attorney by your side can be essential in helping you to prove that your injuries are the result of a workplace accident and you should be compensated accordingly.
You Will be Having a Workers’ Comp Hearing
It is particularly important that you talk to a workers’ compensation attorney if your case is going to be moving to a hearing. If the insurance company refuses to settle, or only makes low offers, then you will have to be able to prove in court why you deserve to be compensated appropriately, which will require the aid of a skilled attorney. You do not want to make the mistake of going into the hearing alone, as you risk getting substantially less than what you are owed.
Dealing with the aftermath of a workplace-related injury can be difficult enough, do not make this time harder on yourself by attempting to go through the process of filing a workers compensation claim on your own. Contact us for further advice if you or a loved one has been injured on the job.