No one plans to be injured while performing their job-related duties. Fortunately, your losses are covered under worker’s compensation law if you get hurt.
The problem is that the claims process can be much more complicated than you imagine.
Typically, your employer must file a claim with their insurance company, which will cost them money. So, your employer and insurers often try to sweep the matter under the carpet and deny your claim.
That’s why some people need to hire a workplace injury lawyer when injured at the workplace. A lawyer can help you get the compensation you need for your lost wages and to cater to medical bills.
Let’s explore the role of workplace injury lawyers and how they can help you.
What Is a Workplace Injury Lawyer?
Since workplace injury lawyers specialize in workplace laws, they help improve the handling of workers while promoting fairness in employment policy. They also help settle disputes between workers and employers or co-worker disputes.
In the case of workplace injury, a workplace injury lawyer helps the person injured on the job to recover compensation for their injuries. Their work includes but is not limited to:
- Finding medical records to validate a claim
- Collecting evidence to support the worker’s claim
- Taking dispositions from relevant parties, including the claimant, doctors, and witnesses
- Performing legal research and discovery
- Petitioning suits in a court of law.
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
Although the workers’ compensation claims process can be complicated, most works do not require the counsel of a lawyer from the get-go.
You can navigate the process without legal support if your claim is straightforward and your employer cooperates.
However, the moment complexity arises in your case is the time to start looking for a lawyer. It would help if you looked for a workplace injury lawyer when:
1. Your claim is denied
Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims. Fortunately, you have a right to appeal if your claim is denied.
However, appealing a denial adds complexity to your case, which you are unprepared to handle alone.
A workplace injury lawyer can represent you and handle the case as required.
2. The settlement offer doesn’t cover all your damages
The first thing you do after a workplace accident is a medical assessment. A physician will issue you an impairment rating reflecting the extent to which the work injury has affected you.
Generally speaking, your rating determines the amount of compensation you should receive. That is to say, with a low rating, you may not recover enough compensation for your medical costs and lost wages.
A good work injury lawyer can help you get the proper rating for your injuries.
3. You receive Social Security benefits
If your settlement is not structured correctly, your worker compensation benefits may significantly lower your social security disability insurance (SSDI).
An experienced workplace injury lawyer knows how to draft a settlement agreement to reduce this offset.
4. You have a claim against a third party
By law, you only file a worker’s compensation claim if you suffer an injury at work. You cannot file a lawsuit against your employer.
However, if a third party played a role in your workplace accident, you can file a suit against them. Only an attorney is knowledgeable enough to handle third-party claims and ensure you get your rightful compensation.
5. You suffered permanent disability
Sometimes, a workplace injury can leave you with a permanent disability-whether partial or total. The injury can hinder you from resuming your previous position, limit your performance, or render you unable to perform any task.
If this happens, you can be eligible for weekly payments or a lump sum to compensate for your loss of income.
However, such suits cost insurance firms a lot of money. For this reason, insurance companies will do everything possible to dodge paying for your damages.
You’d need to get one of the best workplace injury lawyers to win a case relating to permanent injuries from workplace accidents.
6. Your employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim
You might be in an unfortunate situation where your employer fires you, demotes you, reduce your work hours or pay, or other forms of discrimination because you filed a claim.
Don’t hesitate to contact a workplace injury lawyer to protect your legal rights if this happens.
How Can I Find a Workplace Injury Lawyer Near Me?
Workplace injury cases are not easy to navigate. Unlike the typical personal injury cases, these are complex as they also depend on the terms of your employment contract. That means you need the counsel of a lawyer to win a claim.
Now that you have established a legitimate workplace injury case, you must ask, “how can I find a workplace injury lawyer near me”?
Ask for a recommendation
Perhaps the only way to find workplace injury lawyers is to ask for a recommendation from a lawyer you trust.
Lawyers have long contact lists, thanks to their years of experience and work-related networks.
If you don’t know a lawyer, your friends and relatives probably do. They can ask those lawyers for a referral to a workplace injury lawyer.
Got a Legal Issue? Let Us Help You Find An Attorney Near You
Email your local bar association
Almost all U.S states and local bar associations have a lawyer referral system that connects clients with experienced lawyers.
A bar association cannot list a lawyer in a specialty like workers’ compensation unless they demonstrate a certain level of expertise in the field.
So, to do this, search for the term “bar association” in your city or state. Once you find one, email them and wait to be referred to a qualified workplace injury lawyer.
Conduct an online search
A simple Google search with the phrase “best workplace injury lawyers near me” will give you a large pool of lawyers to choose from.
Remember, looking for lawyers online has its disadvantages. You may consider looking for recognized online directories to be on the safe side.
Such websites give unbiased positive and negative reviews about the workplace injury law firm.
Which Lawyers Specialize in Cases Like Mine?
So, you’ve been hurt at the workplace and pursuing compensation for your injuries. You know that you need a legal representative to assist you and negotiate a fair settlement for your workplace accident injury.
But what type of lawyer should you look for? Some people assume that personal injury lawyers are the same lawyers who handle workplace injury cases. However, this assumption is false.
Workplace injury cases are handled by workers’ compensation lawyers.
A pronounced difference between the two is that personal injury lawyers represent someone injured in an accident, such as a car accident or medical malpractice. They address liability and pursue damages for the injured victim.
On the other hand, workers comp lawyers handle cases of employees hurt on the job. A fault is not required to have a valid workplace injury case.
So, consider hiring a workers’ comp lawyer to represent you if your injury is work-related. You may also seek the legal representation of a workers’ comp lawyer if appealing a denied workplace injury claim.
Luckily, most state laws prohibit workers’ comp lawyers from charging a fee unless you win the case. These lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning if you don’t win the case, there will be no pay for them.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect with a Lawyer?
Some people consider handling claims on their own. While hiring a workers’ comp lawyer is not legally required, you risk getting a negative outcome.
That’s because you are unfamiliar with employment laws and how these cases are handled. Unlike you, a workplace injury lawyer has the skill and experience to get you the desired outcome.
With a workers’ compensation lawyer, you can expect to have:
1. Your rights protected
A workers’ comp attorney will advocate for you during negotiations with the insurance company and your employer. During talks, employers try to rid themselves of any liability.
On the other hand, the insurance company tries to make the least settlement offer possible to maximize its profit margins.
Fortunately, a lawyer will keep your interests first and get you the best deal. While at it, their knowledge of employee compensation laws ensures your rights are upheld.
2. Better settlement offers
A plaintiff who hires an injury attorney gets higher settlement offers than those who opt to express themselves.
Hiring a workers’ comp lawyer to negotiate fair compensation would be best.
Usually, employers offer lower settlements than they would pay if they made continuous payments. But with a lawyer representing you, they can establish your medical bills and associated wage losses.
Apart from this, a lawyer will establish payments for less quantifiable damages like pain and suffering, stress, and the injury’s impact on your life.
A lawyer will then use this total cost at the negotiation table to get fair compensation for all your damages.
3. Peace of mind
An injury can be traumatic since you deal with physical pain and mental and emotional distress.
The stress comes from thinking of the medical expenses you incur, loss of income, or worse, if you suffer a permanent disability.
In such cases, you may be eligible for a single lump sum as compensation. But insurance firms don’t make this easy for you- they consider this expensive, so they will do everything to deny you a fair settlement.
In such cases, a workers’ comp lawyer acts on your behalf during settlement negotiations. That means you focus on the most important thing, getting better and living an everyday life again.
Get Started with Your Work Injury Case
Workplace accidents are unfortunately common in the U.S. Workers are left with economic losses and worry over what would happen to them.
You can benefit from having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side as you pursue a claim for your injury damages.