Being injured on the job is hard on your financially, as well as painfully physically. However, workman's compensation is available to help you with the bills while you recover. Injuries come in many forms, so it is important to know when you need to hire a lawyer.
Is a Lawyer Necessary?
You may worry that when you are injured on the job that you will be short-changed when it comes to getting what you are owed. However, this is not always the case and in other cases, you may not be entitled to anything more than paid time off. Injuries, like twisted ankles, that do not end with any time off generally will not end in a workman's comp battle. In addition, most minor injuries that are clear cut work-related with no pre-existing conditions can be settled between you and the employer. If it makes you feel more comfortable having a lawyer help you with the paperwork, that is always an option.
Hiring a Lawyer
The complexity and severity of your injury are when you want to seriously consider having an experienced person on your side. If any of the following have occurred, a lawyer should be called to help you get the finances you are due.
1. Employer denies your claim – Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. The insurance company for your employer is designed to protect the company. This means they will try to find any loophole to prevent you from receiving benefits, especially if your injury is one that takes a few days to worsen.
2. Low settlement offer – In some cases, an employer will offer a settlement but will be too low to cover your medical bills, time off, or is not a fair amount based on injuries sustained.
3. Significant work loss – Anytime you have suffered a significant loss of work (short or long term), you will want to contact a lawyer. They know how to make sure you get enough money in a settlement to handle full or partial work loss. Also, they can help you apply for Social Security for future financial assistance.
4. Employer retaliation – If you have suffered retaliation from your employer for a work-related injury, whether it is because of the loss of hours available or a financial payout, you should contact a lawyer. They will make sure that you do not face any discrimination when you return to work.
5. Negligence – The final scenario when a lawyer is important is if the injury was caused because of neglect from your employer or a third-party. The complexity of the case is amplified when others play a factor in your injury and civil suits may also be possible.
Lawyers are there to help you read and understand the paperwork, but they also make sure you are well aware of what you are due. When cases become complex, you start dealing with multiple insurance companies, deadlines, negotiations between parties, and settlement agreements. Workers compensation lawyers are experienced in handling all of these things so you can spend more time recovering from your injury.