You may think about getting a workers comp attorney if you’re injured at work. When you mention this idea to a friend or loved one, however, they may say it’s not worth it. This is actually true in some cases. For example, you probably won’t need a lawyer if either of the following is true:
- Your workplace injury is minor and you’ll fully recover from it, or
- Either your employer admits your injury is work-related or your supervisor witnessed the accident
Here’s another thing to consider: Does your employer have a solid human resources department? If yes, then chances are good you won’t need an attorney to get the benefits you deserve.
Sometimes, cases are more complicated. There are times when hiring a workers comp attorney is in your best interest. If your injury is severe or your case is complex, it is time to bring in an expert advocate. Many types of situations require the help and expertise of a workers comp lawyer.
Eight Times When You’ll Likely Need A Workers Comp Attorney
Here are some specific examples:
Reason #1: Your Boss Retaliates & You Need a Workers Comp Attorney to Help You Sue for Wrongful Termination
It is illegal to fire you or demote you in the wake of a workers comp claim. Likewise, if your boss reduces your hours or pay, or discriminates against you, it is time to get an attorney.
Reason #2: You Have Preexisting Conditions
When you have pre-existing conditions, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what part of your injury or illness is work-related. You will need an attorney if the injury you’ve sustained in the workplace is related to a pre-existing condition.
Reason #3: Doctors Don’t Agree On Your Diagnosis
When your personal physician and the workers’ comp doctor your company requires you to see don’t have matching diagnoses, an attorney can help resolve the situation. If one doctor believes your injury or illness is more severe than the other, your treatment plan may be disrupted. Worse yet, you have to go back to work before you’re ready. A workers’ comp attorney can intervene and ensure you get the time you need to properly recover from your workplace injury.
Reason #4: Your Injury Leaves You Permanently Disabled (Whether It’s Partial or Total)
Injuries bad enough that you need Social Security disability benefits likely require you getting help from a workers comp attorney. Two examples of this injury type are an amputated limb or widespread paralysis.
Reason #5: Your Injury Involved A Third Party (Like Your Coworker)
If a third party had something to do with your illness or injury on the job, you can sue. However, you’ll need an attorney to do so, because this makes the workers’ comp claim much more complicated.
Reason #6: Your Employer’s Insurer Denied Your Claim
Want to appeal a denied claim? That’s a good idea. But this is definitely a case in which it would be a good idea to hire a workers’ comp attorney. Workers’ comp insurers — or the employers themselves — often reject legitimate workers’ comp claims because they don’t think people will appeal. When you bring on an attorney, your appeal has a much greater chance of succeeding.
Reason #7: The Settlement Amount’s Too Low to Cover All Your Expenses
Do the math on your expenses. If your settlement won’t cover all lost wages or medical bills, you need a workers’ comp attorney. Workers’ comp settlements must be approved by a judge, but most don’t look closely at settlement amounts. An attorney will help get you the best settlement possible to cover your bills while you heal.
Reason #8: You’ll Owe Taxes That You Can’t Afford
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you’ll need to pay taxes on your workers’ comp payments. The workers compensation offset program can also reduce your benefits. An attorney can help ensure this offset is as small as possible.
Consulting A Workers Comp Attorney Is Always Free
If you have a workplace injury situation that isn’t clear-cut, talking to a lawyer is always your best move. An attorney will help you recover the most lost pay you deserve and set up an ideal benefit plan. The important thing to do now is rest and recover without additional stress. You’ll get back to work faster and in better shape than you would trying to resolve everything on your own.
Find A Qualified Workers Comp Attorney Near You Today
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Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.