Signs You Need a Workers Comp Lawyer
Any injury you sustain at work needs to be reported right away so that you are eligible for workers compensation. Your employer pays into this account every month so as long as you’re a hired W2 employee, you are entitled to compensation for any injury you get while on the job. But, just being eligible to get reimbursed doesn’t mean you’re getting everything you deserve. There are times when you’ll need a workers compensation attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Here are some signs that you should hire a lawyer right away.
Your Benefits Are Delayed or Denied
If you aren’t receiving payments for your medical bills and missed wages that are due to a work-related injury, an attorney can help speed the process along. Delays are part of insurance companies’ tactics to avoid paying claims or to force a smaller settlement after you get impatient with waiting for them to pay.
Additionally, your claim might initially be denied, whether it’s because you missed the deadline for filing or they don’t think your injury was work-related. Maybe you didn’t know you needed to file a claim by a certain date or you saw the wrong doctor at first. Whatever the reason is for your denial, an attorney can fight the insurance company’s decision on your behalf.
You Have a Pre-Existing Health Condition
Any type of pre-existing health condition from a back injury to a heart problem can be used to deny your claim as work-related. For instance, if you injure your knee while on the job, your employer or their insurance company might say that you wouldn’t have injured your knee if you hadn’t had a bad back that prevented you from safely performing your job duties. An experienced workers compensation lawyer will be able to use their resources to prove that your injury wasn’t related to your pre-existing health condition, but was instead suffered as a result of what you were asked to do on the job.
You’ll Be Out of Work for an Extended Time
Hiring a workers comp attorney is almost mandatory if you’ve suffered a severe injury on the job that will prevent you from working for an extended time. Your employer and their insurance company will try to limit their damages because they don’t want to pay for an employee who isn’t contributing to their bottom line anymore. They may attempt to cut off your payments after a certain amount, leaving you without a way to pay your bills.
When you’re injured and not able to work, the last thing you need to be worrying about is money. A workers compensation lawyer will remove that burden from you by ensuring your medical bills are paid or deferred while the negotiations with your employer and their insurance company are ongoing. This is particularly important if you’re unable to work any job at all during this time because you’re going to need an income to take care of your financial responsibilities.
The short answer to whether you should hire a workers compensation attorney if you’ve been injured on the job is, yes. In almost all cases, having an advocate by your side during the process will help you get the compensation you deserve.