Imagine yourself at work, and you are given the task of moving a stack of boxes. Halfway into an uplifting one, your boss hits you with a bow and arrow. He doesn’t, but the pressure in your shoulder and neck makes you think he did. If it’s a weakened muscle or a slipped disc, you’ll need medical attention. It implies you’re about to take the journey through the complex world of workers’ compensation.
In this situation, Who are you going to call?
Some people approach a workers’ compensation attorney first. That’s always a good idea, even when it isn’t. Allow us to clarify the differences and assist you in deciding when to seek legal advice.
Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
If your case is minor and without conflict, the logical answer is no. A sprained ankle typically requires ice, a doctor visit, a couple of aspirin, and some relaxation. The other simple response is yes – if your workplace accident is extreme and things get tense. The treatment for a slipped disc in your neck may take weeks or even months, and your employer’s insurance could panic at the ongoing costs.
Just don’t think your case would devolve into a legal fight. According to Jeff Branham, a workers compensation attorney, “too many plaintiffs get a lawyer the day after the accident.” If you’re concerned about upsetting your boss or the cost of hiring a lawyer, on the other hand, not calling could eventually cost you a lot extra.
“Judge Neal Pitts, a Florida Compensation Claims Judge, said, “The public perception is that I can’t afford attorneys, that having one would cause unnecessary delays, or that the lawyer would take a much larger portion of my award.” “It’s a no-brainer if the case resolves for $100,000 with a lawyer or $10,000. And that is what occurs.”
Points that suggest that You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
- Your employer takes a long time to respond to your allegation – If you get hurt during your job, you can tell your supervisor right away. The employer must supply you with the necessary documentation, file a claim with its workers’ compensation insurance company, and report your case to the state workers’ compensation board.
- If you have a permanent disability, either partial or absolute, that prevents you from going back to work, insurance providers are more prone to challenge your claim as it is the most costly.
- If the insurance provider rejects the claim and you file an appeal – which you should if you think your license is valid – things can get messy, and you’ll need professional support. “It’s time to get a lawyer if it becomes complicated if there’s a difference of opinion,” Branham stated.
- Suppose the settlement agreement does not include all missed income and medical costs. In that case, Most worker compensation payments are for permanent disability benefits, assessed by an investigating doctor’s rating scale. If the insurance provider disagrees with the ranking, it may order an independent medical examination (IME) from a doctor of its choice.
- You have a preexisting condition – If you had neck issues before moving the big package, the insurance provider would almost certainly attribute the current pain to that. To show otherwise, you’ll need proof.
- You plan to apply for Social Security disability insurance – workers’ compensation benefits can limit SSDI benefits. A lawyer will help you arrange your settlement so that the offset is minimized or eliminated.
- If the employer tries to intervene against you by firing you, demoting you, reducing your hours, or forcing you to come back to work too soon, a lawyer may claim that the sanctions are unjustified.
- If you have a third-party allegation – If anyone other than your employer contributed to your injury, you could file a workers’ compensation case outside of the workers’ compensation system. For example, if you are struck by a reckless driver while travelling for work, you can sue that person for compensation.
Flags You Shouldn’t Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
- Your disability is minor and doesn’t necessitate intensive medical care – the workers’ compensation system built to handle cases like yours.
- You don’t have a preexisting illness that the accident exacerbated – Pre Existing conditions, such as a neck injury from a car accident aggravated by a fall at work, will make a claim more difficult.
- You skip little to no work – This kind of claim must be precise.
Is Lawyer Worth the Expense?
Workers’ compensation lawyers don’t work on an hourly basis. Instead, they charge a contingency fee, which is a proportion of the workers’ compensation insurance you receive due to their assistance. Furthermore, several states place limits on backup costs when it comes to employee benefits.
The percentage varies by state, but it is usually between 15 and 25 per cent. However, in some states, the fee can be as low as ten per cent and as high as thirty-three per cent. When a lawyer is involved, you’re more likely to get a much better negotiating deal.
Lawyers are familiar with the law, know how to interact, and can use various tools to help you construct your case. As a result, hiring a lawyer can provide you with more benefits, even after the lawyer has taken his or her fee.