If you’ve been injured on the job, you may need to hire a personal injury attorney to help you with your workers compensation claim. Your need for an attorney depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, behavior of the insurance companies and your knowledge of the workers compensation process.
Why Would I Need an Attorney?
It’s natural to trust that your employer has your best interest at heart, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Certain employers and insurance companies will put their own interests ahead of your well-being without a second thought. Furthermore, some insurance companies will discourage you from hiring an attorney, claiming that attorney fees will cut into the compensation you receive.
It’s not always necessary to hire a lawyer, but it’s generally in your best interests to have one. Legal representation from a knowledgeable attorney means you have an advocate working to protect your health and livelihood.
Most workers compensation lawyers will meet with you for free consultation to review your claim and assess whether you need representation. Come to your meeting with the following information in hand:
- Medical records and bills
- Any relevant photos
- Witness contact information
- Any questions you have for the attorney
On average, workers compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they will take a portion of the benefits you receive for their fees. If you end up not collecting benefits, you won’t owe the attorney anything.
When to Call an Attorney
You should retain an attorney if:
- Your injuries are serious enough to need surgery.
- Your health won’t return to its pre-injury state.
- Your medical benefits are denied.
- You feel you are not receiving the correct benefits
- You are no longer able to work on a regular basis in any job.
- Your employer has disputed a decision made by your state workers comp division.
- You need to dispute a decision made by your employer, their insurance company or your state’s workers compensation division regarding your claim.
- If you fear retribution for filing a workers compensation case.
If any part of your claim is in dispute with your employer, or your employer’s insurance company, it’s essential you hire an attorney. The dispute process involves complex rules and procedures. You may be left at a disadvantage if you do not retain an attorney to represent your interests.
When an Attorney is Not Needed
Most on-the-job injuries aren’t very serious and result in quick medical care paid for by an employer. If there is no significant loss of time from work and you expect to go back to work with your employer at your current job after a short recovery, it is unlikely you will need to hire an attorney.
However, if you think your employer is not giving you the compensation you warrant following a workplace accident or injury, you should start the search for a good personal injury attorney.
As a freelance writer for Jim Cover,a San Clemente personal injury attorney, Chris Anderson takes pride in lending hand to those who need aid. When he’s not writing, Chris follows his wife around their backyard garden with a shovel trying to look helpful.